‘Nobody is going to give us a chance’ – Pietersen

The Sharks clash with the Sunwolves at Kings Park on Friday will be veteran JP Pietersen's swansong at the stadium as heads to Leicester at the end of the season.

Pietersen says that donning the underdog tag takes the pressure off his side as they presumably go into the quarter-finals.

"Nobody is going to give us a chance and we’ll go into the knockouts as underdogs, so there’s not much to worry about. We can just go out there and play our rugby," Pietersen told Business Day.

"Anything can happen at the play-offs. After the game, wherever we are flying to and whoever we play, we’ll stay positive because we believe that the team that pitches up will progress. We saw that with the Euro 2016 tournament – if you take your opportunities in the playoffs and catch the opposition off-guard, the chances are high that you’ll go far."

The Sharks winger-cum-centre says that he's adept at playing under pressure considering how long he has been in the game.

"It’s very important for me to play well and help the team win," Pietersen said.

"Scoring tries gives confidence to any player. There was a lot of pressure in the Ireland series, but I’ve been playing rugby for years and it’s something I’m used to.

"We were under a lot of pressure coming into the second Test, but showed character to win it and the third. Scoring in Port Elizabeth boosted me.