A nightmare travel schedule has not fazed the Sharks ahead of their Super Rugby qualifying final in Brisbane on Saturday night - despite the fact it ended at the surprise destination of Queensland.
Sharks coach John Plumtree admitted he thought ahead of the final regular-season round they would be travelling from Durban to Canberra for a sudden-death clash with the Brumbies if his side pulled off sixth spot.
But the Queensland Reds' bonus-point victory over NSW Waratahs last weekend ensured a longer trip for the Sharks - much longer than expected, as it turned out.
Plumtree still looked bleary-eyed on Wednesday after his team endured a two-hour delay on arrival in Johannesburg, missed their connection in Sydney and were forced to distribute the squad onto two flights for the final leg into Queensland on Monday night.
However, he still couldn't hide his surprise at how the make-up of the finals teams evolved last weekend.
The Sharks provided enough drama of their own, coming back from 15-6 down at halftime to beat the Cheetahs 34-15 last round and secure the bonus-point win they needed to snatch sixth spot.
"We thought we might be going to Canberra but it all unfolded in the last weekend - it was amazing," Plumtree said.
The marathon trip ensured the Sharks were blissfully unaware of the drama unfolding at the Reds.
It wasn't until they regathered their wits on arrival at their Gold Coast hotel that they learned playmaker Quade Cooper had copped a one-match ban for a dangerous tackle on NSW centre Berrick Barnes.
The Reds said on Wednesday they were "seriously considering" appealing.
"I didn't even know about it because we were in the air straight after the game," Plumtree said.
"It is big news for them. But they have faith in their back-up (Ben Lucas) so I am sure it won't make too much of a difference.
"We have just been focusing on getting over our trip and on what we are going to do."
The Sharks would surely have preferred facing the wobbly Brumbies rather than a Reds side on a six-game winning run - especially after the Durban-based team won in Canberra 29-26 in week six.
And the Reds have made no secret of their desire to avenge their 27-22 loss to the Sharks in week four after leading 17-0 - a defeat that sparked an early-season slump for the defending champions.
The same man filling in for Cooper on Saturday night - Lucas - caused problems for the Sharks back then before succumbing to a hamstring complaint.
But Plumtree said that game was "not relevant".
The Sharks have their own headaches after losing Springboks fullback Pat Lambie (injury) and Test inside centre Frans Steyn (ineligible).
However, Springboks hooker Bismarck du Plessis is expected to start against the Reds after coming off the bench against the Cheetahs due to a knee complaint.
The Sharks have won six of their past seven matches - all in South Africa.