Curwin Bosch running for SHarks against the Lions in the URC

Curwin Bosch scuttles through the Lions defence to score for the Sharks. Photo: URC.

Five-star Bosch steers Sharks to derby delight

Curwin Bosch leads Sharks to crucial 29-7 bonus-point win over the Lions at Ellis Park to strengthen their bid for a spot in the playoffs.

Curwin Bosch running for SHarks against the Lions in the URC

Curwin Bosch scuttles through the Lions defence to score for the Sharks. Photo: URC.

Curwin Bosch inspired the Sharks to a crucial 29-7 bonus-point victory over the struggling Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday to strengthen their bid for a spot in the URC playoffs.

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The result brings the Sharks one vital step closer to playoff qualification, while it pushes the Lions further back in the race for the knockout stage. The Sharks have now moved up to seventh in the standings, above Italian side Benetton Treviso.

The win always sees the Sharks continue their stranglehold on this South African derby fixture, as it extends their winning streak to four over the Lions in the URC.

Before this match, there were some concerns from certain corners about the depth in this Sharks team, given that in games gone by they looked in shambles without their Springboks. But the rest of the squad stepped up this week and they stepped up big time.

Curwin Bosch had arguably his best game of the season for the side from Durban, pulling the strings beautifully from that pivotal flyhalf position to produce a top notch all-round display. Ultimately, the 25-year-old finished with 14-point individual haul, more than the entire Lions team could muster up.

Another standout performer for the Sharks was centre Rohan Janse van Rensburg. Powerful and elusive, Janse van Rensburg proved to be a difficult man to pin down for the Lions. A menace at the breakdown, Dylan Richardson also proved to be a thorn in the Lions flesh throughout the match.

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While the scoreboard suggests it was one-way traffic win favour of the Sharks, that was not the case. The Lions enjoyed the majority share of territory and possession in the first half, but frustratingly failed to turn that dominance into points. In return, Sharks took full advantage of when an opportunity arose, with Bosch flummoxing the Lions defence to score a magnificent solo try.

The Lions would respond through Marius Louw, who sailed through to dot down after a rather shameful missed tackled by Bosch. The conversion made it all square at 7-7 at the break. But one has to wonder what would have happened had the Lions knocked over those three missed penalty shot in the first half when they were in the ascendancy.

It was all Sharks after the interval, with the visitors breaching the feeble Lions defence thrice more to secure a maximum log points.

Thaakir Abrahams took a beautiful flat ball to cross the whitewash, before replacement hooker Fez Mbatha and Springbok Grant Williams struck two final blows to the Lions’ ambitions in the game.

In the end, it was all too easy for the Sharks, because the Lions didn’t prove to be much of a threat in terms of attacking plays.

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Lions — Marius Louw. Conversion: Gianni Lombard.
Sharks — Tries: Curwin Bosch, Thaakir Abrahams, Fez Mbatha, Grant Williams. Conversions: Bosch (3). Penalty: Bosch.

Lions — 15 Quan Horn, 14 Rabs Maxwane, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Gianni Lombard, 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Emmanuel Tshituka, 7 Ruan Venter, 6 Jaco Kriel, 5 Ruben Schoeman, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith.
Subs: 16 Michael van Vuuren, 17 Morgan Naude, 18 Ruan Dreyer, 19 Ruhan Delport, 20 Sibusiso Sangweni, 21 Ruhan Straeuli, 22 Sanele Nohamba, 23 Rynhardt Jonker.

Sharks — 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Werner Kok, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (captain), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Reniel Hugo, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Dan Jooste, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu.
Subs: 16 Fez Mbatha, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Vincent Tshituka, 20 Dylan Richardson, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Cameron Wright, 23 Ben Tapuai.

Curwin Bosch Sharks vs Lions URC Man of the Match
Curwin Bosch was named Man of the Match.