DURBAN – Once more it was “cometh the hour, cometh the man” for the Sharks when Curwin Bosch calmly nailed a post-hooter penalty on Friday night to nudge his team home 34-33 in Kimberley.
Coach Sean Everitt would have been seeing his life flash before his eyes when Griquas flyhalf Tinus de Beer kicked his team into a 33-31 lead with just enough time left for a restart, but his players then coolly fought their way into a position to win a penalty to set Bosch up for his heroics.
The week before, against the Cheetahs, Bosch had also kicked brilliantly to secure his team the victory.
“We are very happy with the win,” a relieved Everitt said. “It is not something you get easily in Kimberley and this match was an example of that.”
The obvious positive for the Sharks is that they had the fire in their bellies to make a sensational comeback in a game that Griquas seemed to have in the bag.
“At 27-13 down, we were staring down the barrel with 20 minutes to go, so I thought the guys did really well to stick to the processes and eventually claw their way back into the game,” Everitt reflected.
“And then at 31-30 we were on top but unfortunately some poor game management saw us playing rugby in our own half and giving away a penalty.”
Unlocking the opposition in style 🔓
A well-worked try finished off by Manie Libbok keeps the Cell C Sharks within touching distance of the Tafel Lager Griquas, in a match filled with end to end action.#SuperRugbyUnlocked pic.twitter.com/h5McOZfCNH
— SuperSport 🏆 (@SuperSportTV) November 13, 2020
But the Sharks did not give up and displayed immense fortitude to manufacture the last-gasp winning points. “It just shows what can be done when the guys stick to the plan and I think there is a lot of calmness in this group, not to mention character.”
With only seconds left on the clock, Bosch took a short kick-off and flying wing Sbu Nkosi did a wonderful job to pluck the ball out of the air. The possession was taken neatly through the phases until the penalty was forced.
“I am very proud of Curwin for his BMT — the way he is kicking at the moment is superb.”
Everitt added that while he is delighted to get the win, his team’s set-piece needs a lot of work.
“We had made huge improvements over the last few weeks (in the set pieces) but unfortunately it didn’t go our way in that department tonight.
“We must also remember that Griquas are a desperate team,” Everitt observed.
“They ran the Bulls close — they could have won that game. And against us they were outstanding. They can be proud of themselves for the commitment they showed on defence.
“Scott Mathie has done a good coaching job, and sometimes you feel for the opposition, but I am proud of my team for the way they fought back.”