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.

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Edinburgh v Dragons 18h35 Myreside
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Sat, 29 April 2017
Chiefs v Sunwolves 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Waratahs 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Force v Lions 11h55 Perth
Ospreys v Ulster 14h00 Liberty Stadium
Bath v Gloucester 14h00 Recreation Ground
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Saracens v Bristol 14h00 Allianz Park
Harlequins v Wasps 14h00 Twickenham Stoop
Leicester Tigers v Sale Sharks 14h00 Welford Road
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Kings v Rebels 17h30 Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium
Connacht v Scarlets 18h35 Sportsground
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 30 April 2017
Brumbies v Blues 06h05 Canberra
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 April 2017
Clermont Auvergne v Leinster 27 | 22
Sat, 22 April 2017
Sharks v Rebels 9 | 9
Bulls v Cheetahs 20 | 14
Munster v Saracens 10 | 26
Force v Chiefs 7 | 16
Crusaders v Stormers 57 | 24
Highlanders v Sunwolves 40 | 15
Fri, 21 April 2017
Lions v Jaguares 24 | 21
Waratahs v Kings 24 | 26
Hurricanes v Brumbies 56 | 21
Mon, 17 April 2017
UP-Tuks v Maties 28 | 21
Sun, 16 April 2017
Bristol v Wasps 21 | 36
Northampton Saints v Saracens 25 | 27
Sat, 15 April 2017
Connacht v Leinster 24 | 37
Treviso v Edinburgh 21 | 6
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 8 3 0 5 17
Reds 8 2 0 6 10
Force 7 2 0 5 9
Waratahs 8 2 0 6 9
Rebels 7 1 1 5 7
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 8 8 0 0 36
Hurricanes 8 7 0 1 33
Chiefs 8 7 0 1 33
Highlanders 8 5 0 3 23
Blues 8 3 0 5 17
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 8 6 0 2 26
Bulls 8 3 0 5 14
Cheetahs 8 2 0 6 10
Sunwolves 8 1 0 7 5
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 8 7 0 1 32
Sharks 8 5 1 2 24
Jaguares 8 4 0 4 20
Kings 8 2 0 6 10