Doc: Jet lag will catch Sharks
Ross Tucker (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - In theory the Sharks could sidestep jet-lag on Saturday.
However, reality may prove a big obstacle in their quest for Super Rugby glory.
Sports scientist Dr Ross Tucker told Sport24 on Wednesday that he would be surprised if the Sharks were rested by the time they take the field against the Crusaders.
The Kwazulu-Natal side travelled from Durban on Tuesday night and are only expected to arrive in Nelson, New Zealand, on Thursday.
"I heard that John Plumtree wants to keep his side on South African time, but it's very difficult if you travel for half the week. A person's natural rhythm is determined by light and dark, and a team that travels east over several time zones, has its days and nights turned completely upside down. Your body stays in the time zone from where you departed for a while," said Tucker.
"The time that the Sharks play on Saturday is when they usually get up. And while the body is capable of incredible things under stress, the chances are slim that it will be at its best after such a lengthy journey."
He added that there are ways of beating jet-lag - with, for example, chemical treatment and the manipulation for light and darkness around people.
"But it only really works for a two-day journey. It takes almost a day to recover for every time zone that you cross and the Sharks are flying over 10. They will want to sleep when they are awake and vice versa. Add to that the physical exhaustion of last weekend's game against the Bulls and this trip makes Saturday's game almost 100% more demanding than one in Durban would be.
"There are individual factors, which may mean that certain players will be ready by then. But it probably won't be the case with the whole team."