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, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Sharks 12 10 0 2 47
Western Province 12 7 0 5 37
Golden Lions 12 6 0 6 35
Blue Bulls 12 5 0 7 32
Free State Cheetahs 12 6 0 6 31
Pumas 12 4 0 8 27
Griquas 12 4 0 8 26