magazine-issue
DUEL OF THE WEEK-header
Jon Cardinelli

Pietersen vs Fekitoa


. .

The physicality as well as the footwork of the respective No 13s will influence the outcome of the gainline battle at Kings Park, writes JON CARDINELLI.

Should JP Pietersen be starting this Saturday? The Springbok utility back clashed heads with Stormers hardman Duane Vermeulen at Newlands last week. There were fears that Pietersen was concussed, and that he would miss the qualifying play-off against the Highlanders.

Pietersen has been cleared to play this week, but one wonders if that blow will have any effect on his appetite for contact. The Sharks need Pietersen to be at his physical best if they are going to make inroads into the Highlanders defence. They also need Pietersen using all of his experience, not to mention his powerful frame, to repel the likes of Malakai Fekitoa when the Highlanders are in possession.

Fekitoa has been one of the standout performers in Vodacom Super Rugby this season, and has already been rewarded with an All Blacks call-up. The 99kg centre has the power to breach even the best defences, while his speed and vision have proved his game breaking assets when the Highlanders have counter-attacked.

Much will depend on the performance of the respective packs. If the Sharks manage to overpower the Highlanders at the set pieces, and stifle the visitors at the breakdown, it will ensure that Fekitoa's attacking threat is blunted.

Photos: Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix/Rob Jeffries/Getty Images

sar poll

Who will win the Duel of the Week?

Results
0 Comments
latest-articles
Cory Jane at a Hurricanes training session

How Hurricanes prepare to win

Hurricanes assistant coach JOHN PLUMTREE says a good working week is the key to success on match day.

USA coach John Mitchell

Mitchell the man to rebuild Bulls

The Bulls board must be bold and appoint John Mitchell as their next head coach, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.

The Cheetahs in a huddle

SA can’t keep six franchises

SA Rugby cannot have four franchises in Super Rugby and another two in a European competition, writes SIMON BORCHARDT.

You may also like

Get our daily email update. Subscribe to the SA Rugby magazine newsletter: