JP: First 20 minutes crucial
Cape Town - Sharks backline ace JP Pietersen has emphasised the importance for his charges to start well in the Super Rugby final against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Saturday.
The Sharks started well in both knockout wins over the Reds and Stormers, and Pietersen expects more of the same against the men from Waikato - who he feels will provide a sterner test than the last two weeks.
"The Chiefs were probably the best team overall thus far in the series," he told Beeld
from the Sharks' base in Sydney, Australia.
"Their attack and defence are very good - a few of their backs and loose forwards are phenomenal with the ball. Then you also have to watch out for Sona Taumalolo (prop), who has already scored nine tries this year by picking the ball up at the back of the ruck.
"We'll simply have to be at the top of our game and keep them at a distance in those first 20 minutes. And if we want to do that, then every single one of us would need to bring his A-game. If we don't do that then it can become a long day," said Pietersen.
It will be interesting to see where Sharks coach John Plumtree picks Pietersen on Saturday. The regular winger was a last-minute inclusion at centre last week, and produced a match-winning performance in midfield.
The clash at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton kicks off at 09:35 SA time on Saturday.