No crisis at Sharks: JP

    2015-03-10 22:31

    Durban - Centre JP Pietersen insists there is no crisis at the Sharks despite their poor start to the Super Rugby season that has seen them win just once in four games.

    The Durbanites lost to the Cheetahs at home in their opening game, before defeats away at the Bulls and Stormers. Their solitary win came against the Lions at Kings Park in round two.

    "I won't say we're in a crisis," Springbok star Pietersen said.

    "A couple of good wins and then we're back in the competition.

    "You can see by the results so far, there are a lot of away teams winning games, so Super Rugby is a long competition and there's a long way to go."

    However, Pietersen admitted that one win out of four was unacceptable.

    "I don't think one of four is acceptable for any team. So we need to step up."

    The poor sequence of results under new director of rugby Gary Gold has meant that the Bok-laden Sharks are a lowly 10th position on the standings and with a lot of work to do in the coming weeks if they are to ignite their challenge for an elusive Super Rugby crown.

    They face the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein this week, with Pietersen acknowledging the pressure will be on to produce a result.

    "There's a lot of pressure on us," he said.

    "There's pressure even if you lose one game and we'll be under a lot of pressure again this weekend.

    "But that's what makes great players. And we've been in this sort of situation before, so I think the players will stand up Saturday."

    He admitted that the players and coaching staff had been discussing some of the problems encountered over the opening month this week when they got together at the start of this week.

    They returned from Newlands in Cape Town with a 29-13 scoreline.

    "We've made things difficult because we play such a good brand of rugby and we are a good team.

    "We've spoken about it on Monday and Tuesday.

    "The most important thing is our execution. We got into good areas o the field over the weekend, but we just didn't execute. That was the frustrating thing. There's nothing big to fix, but it's just about being more accurate and more hard on ourselves."

    Meanwhile, the Sharks are expected to be handed a double boost this week with the return of Springbok front-row pair Jannie du Plessis and Tendai Mtawarira.

    Du Plessis has been on paternity leave, while Mtawarira returns after a calf injury.

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