The Sharks have successfully negotiated the first tricky travel hurdle on the way to a Super Rugby play-off against the Crusaders in Nelson, New Zealand, on Saturday.
The men from Durban completed the first leg of a marathon trip of over 11,000 kilometres when they landed in Sydney on Wednesday, following fears that the ash cloud from a volcano in Chile would re-direct them.
The fear was that the team would have to land in Brisbane and would then have to find a new flight to Wellington, which could delay their eventual arrival in Nelson until Thursday or even Friday.
However, Australia's main airports have resumed operations as the cloud which grounded hundreds of flights was blown out to sea.
With major airports in Australia working to clear a backlog of 70,000 passengers, Sharks prop Eugene van Staden and flyhalf Freddie Michalak both confirmed via Twitter they had landed safely in Sydney.
Michalak said "Juste arrive a sydney on va embarquer bientot pour la N Zealand... long voyage!"
Roughly translated Michalak was simply explaining that the team had landed and were about to leave for New Zealand as part of their long journey from Durban.
Coach John Plumtree had revealed his concerns about the travel requirements and how the team would need to alter their sleep patterns on arrival in New Zealand.
"We're leaving late which is a bit new for us, it means we will have to stay in South African time, go to bed late, get out of bed late which is hard for the farm boys in the team like me." he quipped.
"We'll just adjust our clocks like that. They say the second week is the hardest when you do it like that, so when we're in the Reds week, that's going to be hard work. Going to bed at two in the morning and waking up at 11am, who does that?"
The confidence is oozing out of the sharks camp after the 26-23 victory over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend.
"What happened on the weekend gave us belief," Plumtree said "Winning at Loftus, I don't think there are too many sides in this competition that could have done what we did.
"We're in finals rugby and we've been in finals rugby a lot in the last three or so years, and the team get excited about that -this Crusaders side also gets excited about finals rugby though, as we know."
By Timmy Hancox
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