Stretched Sharks on the road again
Cape Town - The Sharks, back in Super Rugby playoff contention following a resounding 32-15 win over the Hurricanes, will be stretched once more when they take on the Jaguares in Buenos Aires on Saturday.
It is the next leg in what has been a demanding month, travel-wise.
Having been on tour in New Zealand for three weeks, the Sharks returned to Durban for a single fixture - against the Hurricanes - and on Wednesday morning they will depart for Argentina.
As Gary Gold pointed out this week, such hectic travel demands have put the Sharks in new territory.
"It's a very tough challenge for us. Our focus this week is going to have to be to rest, to look after ourselves," Gold said.
"We know what we need to do but we're in uncharted waters now. We've never had to fly back from New Zealand and then fly in the other direction. This is all new for us."
When the sides met in Durban back in March, the Sharks emerged 19-15 winners in a physical encounter.
Gold believes that the Jaguares have improved since then.
"This is a week where we really need to stay grounded. If we think the Jaguares are going to be easy in Buenos Aires you've got another thing coming," he said.
"I think they're improving every week they play together. There's no doubting their passion. They've had a terrible travel schedule and being at home will be a big thing."
Gold recalls a conversation he had with some of the members of the Chiefs squad after his side's narrow 24-22 loss there two weekends ago.
"They (the Chiefs) were saying that (the trip to Argentina) was one of the toughest trips they've had," Gold said.
"They're physical, they're going to come at you and they've got a very partisan, volatile crowd behind them."
The Sharks will be travelling with a squad of 25.
Kick-off on Saturday is at 22:40 (SA time).