New Hurricanes fly-half James Marshall said he was relieved after his side's 32-24 victory over the Sharks in Wellington on Saturday.
Marshall came in as the replacement for All Blacks pivot Beauden Barrett – who is out for a month with a knee injury – and admits that he felt he would be blamed if the Hurricanes secured anything less than a win against the Durban-based outfit.
"I was in for a bit of a hiding to nothing trying to replace Beaudy wasn't I," Marshall told Fairfax Media.
"He's pretty talented and I can't do the things he does, but I've got to give it my best shot."
Marshall contributed 12 points in the win via three conversions and two penalties as the Hurricanes consolidated their position at the top of the table by securing a try-scoring bonus point.
The 26-year-old was satisfied with his effort against a highly-motivated Sharks outfit who held a 24-21 lead inside the final 10 minutes after a late Odwa Ndungane try.
"There was a point there when it was on ice and we were just thinking if we can get through this and win we'll take it for sure," added Marshall.
"In the end I was just stoked we won. We got put under a lot of pressure in that game. It wasn't perfect, we were pretty rusty, but to come away with five points, you have to be happy with that.
"They were pretty good and I think that's the best they've played this year."
He admitted that he was quite nervous ahead of the match, especially when he found out that he would be the Hurricanes' first-choice goal-kicker.
"There were a couple there I should have got," explained Marshall.
"I'm not sure what my success rate was, but I'll take that for sure. It's just a matter of kicking it natural, not trying to over-think it, going through the motions without thinking about everything else that's going on."