Future Star: Juan-Claude Roos
15 Apr 2009
When in his own half, a flyhalf can put up a high ball, kick for field position or pass the ball wide. Alternatively, as Tuks No 10 Juan-Claude Roos showed in the game against Pukke in this year’s Varsity Cup, you can unleash a monstrous drop goal to leave opposition mouths agape and supporters in a frenzy.
‘It was a good strike,’ he says. ‘Lucky, but good. I just did my best to maintain my focus and it paid off.’
At the time of writing, Roos, who only matriculated at the end of 2008, was the top point-scorer in the Varsity Cup, with four conversions, seven penalties and that drop goal.
‘Kicking has always been a big part of my game,’ he says. ‘From a young age it was my focus, and I put in a lot of time and effort to get it to where it is.’
Roos credits Bulls kicking coach Vlok Cilliers – who he has worked with for nearly four years – with the improved strength and accuracy of his boot. Cilliers is quick to return the praise.
‘Juan-Claude is a naturally gifted kicking talent; my work with him was less about his technique and more about his approach when he’s under pressure, keeping focused and performing in the big games.
‘He is definitely someone to look out for in the future. As long as we continue to manage him well, look after him and his development, he could become another Derick Hougaard or Jonny Wilkinson.’
Tuks coach Freddie Grobler says that it’s Roos’s ability to slot the important – and at times outrageous – kicks under pressure that earned the 18-year-old selection over bigger, more experienced players.
‘We saw him play for the Bulls Craven Week team under coach Paul Anthony and were very impressed. In my opinion, Varsity Cup matches are often won and lost on the back of three points, so we backed Juan-Claude who has proved that he can consistently give us those vital points.
‘He does still have room to improve, though. His attacking ability and running lines could use some work, but once he’s sorted that out he’ll be the complete flyhalf.’
Roos is less concerned with the hype surrounding his own game than with the ascendancy of his side.
‘I just want to do my best to contribute to the team’s success and hopefully Tuks can come out on top this season. It’s all about pushing the side forward by putting in the best performances I can.’
By Rory Keohane