Springboks and Sharks eighthman Ryan Kankowski says he believes the Sharks are in a good place ahead of their Super Rugby Semi-final against the Stormers in Cape Town this weekend.
The Sharks returned from the break for the June Internationals knowing that they were under pressure and had to perform if they were to stay in contention for the title after a surprising slip up against the Lions.
The Sharks responded by producing some of their best Super Rugby performances with bonus point victories over the Bulls and Cheetahs and then knocking the Reds out of Super rugby last week.
Kankowski says that the Sharks relish playing rugby in pressure situations
"The guys have been gelling which is good at this time of the competition, we came back from the June break in the tournament and we had enough time to get settled," he said on the Sharks site.
"But it seems that we like making things tough for ourselves, we only seem to play when there's a knife against our throat; we put ourselves under a bit of pressure but we came out on top. We just need to keep building on that."
The Sharks have now won seven of their last eight games which has them playing with confidence.
"We've had a good couple wins and we're building momentum, and going into semi-finals, I think everyone fancies their chance."
Kankowski is enjoying some of his best form and has been calling the lineouts in a new role which he admitted was a challenge, although not completely alien.
"It is different and the first time since school that I've been involved in calling lineouts, so there is a bit of pressure, but we have a few good lineout options, senior players in the team helping.
"Plum helps too, so it's made it that much easier. We're a good bunch of guys, everyone helps each other."
Kankowski is expecting plenty of pressure from the Stormers line out but he is confident the analysis they will put in will ensure they are able to defend it well.
"They have the tallest lineout, Eben and Andries are both brilliant lineout options, but we will watch their games, come up with a few plans and hopefully it all comes off on the weekend."