Speckmagic the 'gamebreaker'

Sun, 30 Jul 2017 22:59

CURRIE CUP REACTION: Those following the Seven World Series would know all about @speckmagic11.

Now, after an absence of two years, the full array of magical skills from Rosko Shane Specman is on display in the 15-a-side code again.

Specman produced a Man of the Match performance in the Free State Cheetahs' 30-17 Currie Cup Round Two win over Western Province in Bloemfontein on Sunday.

It was the kind of magic followers of the Sevens code had come to expect of the diminutive speedster - a man deceptive powerful for his size.

Several players from the World Series champion BlitzBok team have ventured into the 15-man code - with various degrees of success.

The most successful have been Specman (with the Cheetahs), Seabelo Senatla (with the Stormers and Western Province) and Albertus Smith (lions).

Specman's performance on Sunday comes close to the most influential of the Currie Cup season - certainly on par with Smith's efforts in Super Rugby.

Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan said there is a very good reason why they are selecting Specman to start, despite a two-year absence from the 15-a-side game.

"Rosko is a player with the ability to create something from nothing, commonly referred to as a gamebreaker, and that is the reason why he is in the team," Duncan said.

"He had another great game today," the Cheetahs coach said, adding: "He opened with that first try of his [after just two minutes] and he was involved in a number of plays in the game that gave us good momentum and go-forward.

"We are, obviously, very happy to have him in a Cheetahs jersey.

"As I said, the reason he is in the team is to create for us and that is exactly what he has done."

With 10 points from two games, the defending champions have had an ideal start to the season.

"It is good to have two wins from two games," the coach said, adding: "However, our focus is on 24/7 - [which means] we focus on every game."

The Cheetahs coach has given the players time off on Monday and Tuesday - as they are not playing this coming weekend.

However, then they have two matches in three days.

"Our focus, when they come back Wednesday, is the following week Wednesday's game," he said.

The Cheetahs travel to Nelspruit to meet the Pumas on August 9 and three days later (August 12) take on Griquas in Bloemfontein.

@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 August 2017
Pumas v Blue Bulls 17h00 Nelspruit
Sat, 26 August 2017
New Zealand v Australia 07h35 Dunedin
Western Province v Sharks 13h00 Newlands
Free State Cheetahs v Golden Lions 15h15 Bloemfontein
Argentina v South Africa 17h30 Padre Ernesto Martearena Stadium
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 5 4 0 1 21
Sharks 5 4 0 1 20
Western Province 5 3 0 2 16
Blue Bulls 5 2 0 3 14
Griquas 6 2 0 4 14
Pumas 5 2 0 3 10
Golden Lions 5 1 0 4 9