JP: Jake factor driving the Sharks

Mon, 17 Mar 2014 22:51
Large jp pietersen sharks Large jake white against post Large marcell coetzee   jp pieter

Springbok JP Pietersen believes the Jake White-run Sharks have an increase in energy and belief since he last played for the coastal side.

Seasoned Springbok JP Pietersen believes the new Jake White-run Sharks team have an increase in energy and belief since he last played for the coastal side little over six months ago.

The World Cup winner, who has been playing in Japan since August last year, played the full 80 minutes for the Sharks when they beat the Reds 35-20 in Durban this past weekend.

"I've been watching them from Japan and they've been playing some good rugby," Pietersen, who will win his 100th Super Rugby cap this weekend said on Monday.

"It wasn't very easy for me just to come in and play, because there's a new coaching staff here and I was trying to learn quickly.

"Fortunately I learnt quite a lot and [last] Saturday went well. There was a bit of rust, but it was good to be back."

The 27-year-old admitted that working with World Cup-winning coach White in the past had helped him settle quicker and hoped the new Director of Rugby will bring a first-ever Super Rugby title to Durban.

"Like Jake said when he took over the job, he's here to win the competition," he said.

"He sent that message to all the boys and we're all believing that.

"We've said every year in the past that we are going to win it, we've come close but never won it.

"So I think this year, it's probably the same mindset, but the belief is the difference.

"It's probably 100 percent better than what it's ever been."

Pietersen said White's arrival had been key to the upturn in fortunes of players like centre Frans Steyn and flyhalf Patrick Lambie - two men that struggled over the past year due to injury, form and confidence.

"You can see with Frans, he's probably playing his best rugby for a long time," he said.

"He's got no more niggles, no more injuries that have been worrying him.

"So he's in good shape and he's kicking 50 metres again and you can see that the old Frans is back. I can see he's happy and the smile is back on his face."

The Sharks, who top the table with four wins from four games, face the sixth-placed Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

SAPA

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 24 March 2017
Crusaders v Force 06h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Waratahs 08h45 Melbourne
Glasgow Warriors v Connacht 17h15 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Edinburgh 19h05 Parc y Scarlets
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Dragons v Ulster 19h35 Rodney Parade
Sat, 25 March 2017
Blues v Bulls 06h35 Eden Park
Brumbies v Highlanders 08h45 Canberra
Sunwolves v Stormers 10h55 Singapore
Kings v Lions 13h05 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Zebre v Munster 14h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Saracens v Bath 15h00 Allianz Park
Leinster v Cardiff Blues 15h00 RDS Arena
Northampton Saints v Leicester Tigers 15h00 Franklin's Gardens
Exeter Chiefs v Sale Sharks 15h00 Sandy Park
Cheetahs v Sharks 15h15 Bloemfontein
Treviso v Ospreys 19h35 Stadio Monigo
Jaguares v Reds 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 26 March 2017
Wasps v Worcester Warriors 14h30 Ricoh Arena
Bristol v Gloucester 15h00 Ashton Gate
Mon, 27 March 2017
NWU-Pukke v UP-Tuks 14h45 Potchefstroom
Fort Hare v UKZN-Impi 16h30 Davidson Stadium
Wits v UCT-Ikeys 16h30 Johannesburg
NMMU-Madibaz v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Bloemfontein
UWC v WSU 16h30 Cape Town
Maties v UJ 17h00 Stellenbosch
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 4 2 0 2 10
Reds 4 1 0 3 6
Force 3 1 0 2 5
Waratahs 4 1 0 3 4
Rebels 3 0 0 3 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Chiefs 4 4 0 0 19
Crusaders 4 4 0 0 16
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 15
Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Highlanders 4 1 0 3 5
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 3 3 0 0 13
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 9
Bulls 3 1 0 2 5
Sunwolves 4 0 0 4 1
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Jaguares 4 3 0 1 14
Lions 4 3 0 1 14
Sharks 4 3 0 1 13
Kings 4 1 0 3 5