Cloud over Sharks as they head east
The Sharks left for Australia last night, en route to New Zealand, amid fears that volcanic ash over the area might delay their arrival for Saturday's Super 15 playoff.
Flights in Australasia have been cancelled and last week the Crusaders used an ancient DC3 to fly to Wellington at low altitude to avoid the ash cloud.
Despite the logistical problems, there is an air of confidence about the Sharks, who beat the Bulls 26-23 at Loftus last week in what was effectively a knockout game.
"There aren't too many sides in this competition that could have done what we did," said Sharks coach John Plumtree.
"It was a huge game; a knockout and that gave us lots of belief. If we can take that confidence across to New Zealand and apply it for 80 minutes, we have a chance.
"[Flyhalf] Frederic Michalak can control the game and we have Pat Lambie's kicking game at the back . So as long as we defend really well, our set piece functions properly and we make sure territory is in our favour, you never know.
"Our biggest hurdle is just getting there, getting ready, getting over jet lag," Plumtree said.