Sharks flyhalf Curwin Bosch cut a lonely figure just moments after the Currie Cup final against the Bulls at Loftus last week. He was almost inconsolable.
Bulls defence coach Joey Mongalo was spotted next to Bosch, trying to provide emotional support.
— Dylan Jack (@dylanmattjack) January 30, 2021
Bosch, who has played two Tests for the Springboks, had just missed five penalty goals and two drop goals which could have won the Sharks the Currie Cup title. Instead, a second try by Bulls flank Arno Botha in extra time gave the hosts a 26-19 win.
In some circles, Bosch’s big match temperament (BMT) has been questioned, despite ending as the top points scorer in the Currie Cup with 84 points.
Former Springbok World Cup-winning flyhalf Andre Pretorius, who scored 171 points in 31 Tests, felt it was premature to judge Bosch too harshly.
“We can also bring up the subject of BMT when Curwin kicked a last-minute penalty against Griquas at Kimberley (earlier this season) to win the game for the Sharks,” said Pretorius, who also turned out for the Sharks during his career.
“I think he also managed that in a game or two before that.”
In 70 Super Rugby games for the Lions, Pretorius kicked 498 points for the Cats in 47 matches and 147 points in 23 games for the Lions. He also scored 545 points in 46 Currie Cup games for the Lions.
“Some days it simply just doesn’t happen for you, so I don’t think one can determine whether a player has BMT or not by judging him on one game,” said Pretorius.
Bosch did kick 14 points in the final, succeeding with four penalties and a conversion, while the Sharks twice opted to go for a corner kick in the last 10 minutes when an easy penalty could have secured the trophy.
Former Lions coach Eugene Eloff believed a final was all about handling pressure and Bulls flyhalves Morne Steyn and Chris Smith also missed kicks at goal in slippery conditions.
“Kickers can go from hero to zero in one game, but this game is all about pressure and being played by 15 players who have 80 minutes to determine the outcome,” Eloff said.
“Kickers are often being put in a position with a lot of pressure but it is a team sport and one player can never take the blame for a result.”