The Sharks defeated the Waratahs 37-14, on an evening a star was born, at Kings Park in Durban.
Curwin Bosch capped a virtuoso performance of speed, killer instinct and calm under pressure, which had echoes of Frans Steyn’s start at flyhalf against Western Province, all those years ago.
The 19-year-old dominated the game with a try and 22 points from the boot for a total haul of 27 points after replacing his captain Pat Lambie, early in the game.
The game was won with a first-half blitz – two intercepted tries from Bosch and Kobus van Wyk, added to a second-minute score from Tera Mtembu.
An Israel Folau brace, either side of halftime, was all the visitors could muster, in a game that the Tahs were outplayed in all departments, despite outscoring the home team 7-6 in the second half.
The Sharks led 31-7 at the interval, outscoring the Sydney side, three tries to one. But only 13 points were scored in a second half, littered with stoppages and the odd scuffle – Waratahs’ tempers flared due to their frustration.
The game began at lightning speed when Mtembu strolled in for a second-minute try; the Sharks No 8 collecting a loose ball off the deck, after some quick handling from the backs.
Lambie left the field with a back strain after five minutes and the missed conversion: Enter Bosch.
The man-of-the-match made an immediate impact with a penalty and an intercept try after Jack Dempsey had been shown a yellow card for a tip-tackle, giving his side an 18-nil lead.
Folau scored before the half hour mark when he gathered Hegarty’s clever little chip kick inside the Sharks’ 22 and scored under the posts.
The Sharks did not ease up, though, heaping more pain on the visitors with their second intercept try on the stroke of halftime.
The Waratahs were mounting an attack inside the opposition’s half when disaster struck. Hegarty sent a pass to Irae Simone but, the inside centre dropped the ball, and Van Wyk was onto it in a flash, running 60 metres to score.
Bosch’s conversion gave his team a 24 point halftime cushion. The Tahs threatened a comeback when Sekope Kepu charged down Cobus Reinach’s kick, collected the bouncing ball and set up an attack.
The New South Wales players went through several phases building on quick ball before Folau bagged his second.
The sustained pressure on the Sharks’ try line was too much and their lead reduced to 17 when Kurt Coleman added the easy conversion.
Bosch added two more penalties as the Sharks won comfortably, claiming two wins from three games against Australian teams.
“Winning was nice,” said Mtembu afterwards.
“But we were disappointed to lose Patrick so early and not to get a bonus point.”
He might be right, but it allowed the Kings Park faithful a glimpse of the future.
The final score: Sharks 37 (31) Waratahs 14 (7)
Tries – Mtembu, Bosch, Van Wyk
Pen – Bosch (6)
Con – Bosch (2)
Tries – Folau (2)
Con – Robinson (2)
Cards – Dempsey (YELLOW, 10th minute)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant Ref 1: Egon Seconds
Assistant Ref 2: Stuart Berry
TMO: Shaun Veldsman
15. Clement Poitrenaud, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12. Andre Esterhuizen, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie (c), 9. Cobus Reinach, 8. Tera Mtembu, 7. Jean- Luc du Preez, 6 Philip van der Walt, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Stephan Lewies, 3. Coenie Oosthuizen, 2. Franco Marais, 1. Tendai Mtawarira
Replacements: 16. Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17. Thomas du Toit, 18. Lourens Adriaanse, 19. Jean Droste, 20. Jacques Vermeulen, 21. Michael Claassens, 22. Jeremy Ward, 23. Curwin Bosch
1. Tom Robertson, 2. Tolu Latu, 3. Sekope Kepu, 4. Dean Mumm, 5. David McDuling, 6. Jack Dempsey, 7. Michael Hooper (c), 8. Michael Wells, 9. Nick Phipps, 10. Bryce Hegarty, 11. Rob Horne, 12. Irae Simone, 13. Israel Folau, 14. Reece Robinson, 15. Andrew Kellaway
16. Hugh Roach, 17. Paddy Ryan, 18. David Lolohea, 19. Senio Toleafoa, 20. Maclean Jones, 21. Matt Lucas, 22. David Horwitz, 23. Cameron Clark
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