Pietersen is back in action

Tue, 02 Oct 2012 12:30
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Springbok wing JP Pietersen returned to training with the Sharks this week and could make his return from a hand injury against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
 

Springbok wing JP Pietersen returned to training with the Sharks this week and could make his return from a hand injury against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Pietersen, who was in the form of his life before getting injured, had a pin removed last week after undergoing surgery in early August from the injury he picked up during the Super Rugby final, forcing him to miss the Rugby Championship concluding this week.

The Bok flyer appeared to be in little discomfort when he worked through some training routines with his Sharks teammates at the Kings Park outer fields on Tuesday.

"JP's come back to us, he hasn't been passed fit or anything, but we'll just see how he goes with his hand," Sharks assistant coach Hugh Reece-Edwards said.

"Hopefully later in the week he'll be made available, but at the moment he's just here to train.

"He seems to be in good spirits. I think he's looking forward to playing again, but would like to play Currie Cup rugby first before being rushed into the top scene.

"But we don't know if he'll be ready this week or not," he said.

With or without Pietersen, the Sharks find themselves in a strong position to finish top of the competition log ahead of their trip to the Free State for their penultimate regular season clash.

John Plumtree's men are currently second on the table, three points behind the Lions after edging out the Blue Bulls 13-12 in Durban last Friday, with their remaining match being against Griquas at home.

The Lions visit Kimberley this week, before facing the Blue Bulls at home in the last round.

"We're all in a position now where one loss takes you out of a possible home semi or a possible play-off even," Reece-Edwards said.

"Every inch is going to count, so at the moment we need to continue winning."

Meanwhile, the fourth-placed Cheetahs must win to keep their play-off hopes alive, while a loss could drag them into relegation territory.

"They'll have to win this week to get into the play-offs," the assistant coach said.

"Every single result, half a result and every point is vital at this stage."

Reece-Edwards admitted they expected a tough battle against the Cheetahs in what was possibly one of the biggest games of the year.

"We're looking forward to it. It's really a do-or-die clash for them, so they're going to be extremely motivated for the match.

"For ourselves it's a massive game if we want to end in that number one spot, so there's no shortage of motivation. It's probably the game that we really have to pick up at this stage of the year."

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
CURRIE CUP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
Free State Cheetahs 8 8 0 0 39
Blue Bulls 8 6 0 2 30
Western Province 8 5 0 3 27
Golden Lions 8 5 0 3 26
Sharks 8 5 0 3 25
Griquas 8 4 0 4 21
Boland 8 2 0 6 11
Pumas 8 1 0 7 10
EP Kings 8 0 0 8 1
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