With JP Pietersen set to return to the Sharks, we take a look at some of the veteran wing’s greatest moments on the field.
With the Sharks down a man and trailing the Waratahs 21-13 in the second half of a nail-biting encounter at Kings Park in 2011, Pietersen scored this brilliant solo try against the run of play to keep the hosts in the contest. The Waratahs were on the attack and threatening to cut loose. Kurtley Beale went on a run and attempted an offload, but Jacques Botes knocked the ball back in to the path of Pietersen, who left Lachie Turner for dead with an inside step before burning another of the Waratahs’ Wallabies Tom Carter on the outside with sheer pace to dot down.
In similar fashion to the first clip, Pietersen counters from turnover possession, this time against the Western Force, to go the length of the field for a solo try. Keegan Daniel snaffled the ball back for the Sharks and popped a pass to Pietersen who ran onto the ball at pace. He hands off the first tackler and then skins Wallabies duo Drew Mitchell and James O’Connor, who ended up on the ground for their feeble efforts.
South Africa faced Fiji in the quarter-finals of the 2007 World Cup. The Springboks were just three points up heading in to the last 14 minutes of an enthralling clash when the Pacific Islanders surged upfield and into the 22 with a sweeping move. The Boks’ defence was at sixes and sevens and Pietersen was one of those caught horribly out of position. Spotting the overlap out wide, Fiji shifted the ball out to Savenaca Rawaca on the left. All the lock had to do was run in an easy score, but Pietersen somehow tracked back and rolled Rawaca on his back inside the in-goal area before forcing him into touch. It was a brilliant piece of play and kept the Boks in the lead in a match they ultimately ended up winning 37-20.
Pietersen scored a brace for the Sharks against the Hurricanes in a regular season fixture. The first was an easy, but it was in the build-up to the second try that all his experience was on show. A loose pass by the Hurricanes was pounced on by Pietersen, but realising he will not secure possession if he attempts to pick it up he hoofed the the ball into space and outpaced the field to score. (1:30 to 1:40 in the video).
Pietersen was influential in South Africa’s impressive 36-0 demolition job of England in the pool stages. He scored a double and set up a third to leave the defending champions reeling. His second try originated from an attacking scrum inside the 22. Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez switched play to the blindside where he released Pietersen.
Playing in his 50th Test against Scotland at Murrayfield, Pietersen marked the achievement with a superb display that included a wonder try and try-saving tackle. Fullback Willie le Roux, fresh of scoring a try himself, launched a scintillating attack from deep and kick the ball towards the right corner. Pietersen chased down the kick and slid in for a stunning try. In the last five minutes, with his team 28-up and assured of a victory, Pietersen refused to let up the pressure as he made a textbook tackle on Scotland No 8 Dave Denton to see the Boks end the match without conceding a point.
More recently, at his club Toulon, Pietersen flummoxed three Oyonnax defenders with a classic dummy to dot down in the French Top 14.
Photo: Steve Haag/Hollywoodbets