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Sharks face one trip too many: White

Date

Adrian Warren

South Africa's World Cup-winning coach Jake White says the globe-trotting Sharks face a monumental battle toppling the Chiefs in tomorrow's Super Rugby final.

Both teams will strive for their first Super title in front of a sellout crowd at Waikato Stadium in Hamilton.

Over the last few weeks, the nomadic Sharks have travelled away from their Durban base to score finals victories over Australian conference winners Queensland in Brisbane and South Africa's table-topping minor premiers the Stormers in Cape Town.

Their reward is a second lengthy flight to Australasia in two weeks to face the New Zealand conference-winning Chiefs, who ousted seven-time champions the Crusaders last week.

''I think that it's going to be a hell of a tough ask for the Sharks to go back and forth and back and forth [between South Africa and Australasia] and get away with wins consecutively,'' said White, who has just completed his first season as the Brumbies head coach.

''It would be an amazing achievement for a team that finished sixth to actually end up winning it, and beating teams that came first and second.

''They would end up beating the Reds, who won that conference, the Stormers, who won their conference, and then the Chiefs, who won their conference.

''It would be a massive effort for the Sharks. It would be phenomenal if they could.

''But I think, obviously, the Chiefs must be favourites.''

Even before the finals series was extended from two to three weeks last year, winning a Super final on overseas soil proved an insurmountable barrier for almost all teams.

Nine of the 10 finals contested by teams from two different countries went the way of the home side.

The only travelling team to win a title on foreign soil are the redoubtable Crusaders, who shaded the Brumbies 20-19 in 2000 in Canberra.

The Sharks have broken up the journey to New Zealand by staying in Sydney for three days.

''I'm not sure this sort of travel has ever been done before and, if we were to win on Saturday, I think all the sports science details about travel fatigue would go out the window,'' Sharks assistant coach Grant Bashford said on the team's website.

''We're in uncharted territory now, but jetlag is going to be the least of our worries.

''We'll just focus on ensuring we prepare for the final as best we can.''

Rugby Internationals 2014

Round 1
Sat, 07 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 18 vs TGA 18 Report Stats
FJI 25 vs ITA 14 Report Stats
NZL 20 vs ENG 15 Report Stats
AUS 50 vs FRA 23 Report Stats
Sun, 08 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 47 vs WXV 13 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 29 Report Stats
USA 6 vs SCO 24 Report Stats
CAN 25 vs JPN 34 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sat, 14 JunTimes shown AEST
SAM 15 vs ITA Report Stats
FJI 45 vs TGA 17 Report Stats
NZL 28 vs ENG 27 Report Stats
AUS 6 vs FRA Report Stats
Sun, 15 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 38 vs WAL 16 Report Stats
CAN 17 vs SCO 19 Report Stats
ARG 17 vs IRE 23 Report Stats
USA 29 vs JPN 37 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 3
Sat, 21 JunTimes shown AEST
ARG 19 vs SCO 21 Report Stats
FJI 13 vs SAM 18 Report Stats
JPN 26 vs ITA 23 Report Stats
AUS 39 vs FRA 13 Stats
NZL 36 vs ENG 13 Report Stats
Sun, 22 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 31 vs WAL 30 Report Stats
USA 38 vs CAN 35 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 4
Sun, 29 JunTimes shown AEST
RSA 55 vs SCO 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 5
Sun, 02 NovTimes shown AEDT
BAR 36 vs AUS 40 Report Stats
USA 6 vs NZL 74 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 6
Sun, 09 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 24 vs SAM 13 Report Stats
ENG 21 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
WAL 28 vs AUS 33 Report Stats
FRA 40 vs FJI 14 Report Stats
IRE 29 vs RSA 15 Report Stats
SCO 41 vs ARG 31 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 7
Sun, 16 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 18 vs ARG 20 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs RSA 31 Report Stats
WAL 17 vs FJI 13 Report Stats
SCO 16 vs NZL 24 Report Stats
FRA 29 vs AUS 26 Report Stats
Mon, 17 NovTimes shown AEDT
IRE 49 vs GEO 7 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 8
Sun, 23 NovTimes shown AEDT
ITA 6 vs RSA 22 Report Stats
SCO 37 vs TGA 12 Report Stats
IRE 26 vs AUS 23 Report Stats
WAL 16 vs NZL 34 Report Stats
ENG 28 vs SAM 9 Report Stats
FRA 13 vs ARG 18 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
Round 9
Sun, 30 NovTimes shown AEDT
ENG 26 vs AUS 17 Report Stats
WAL 12 vs RSA 6 Report Stats
View All Fixtures
 
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