When I leave for France, I want to go with the trophy
The likely return of Pat Lambie and the amazing form of French flyhalf Frederic Michalak hold the key for the Sharks ahead of the Super Rugby Final.
The men from Durban, wildcard qualifiers after finishing sixth in the standings, will meet the New Zealand conference winners and second-place finishers, the Chiefs, in Hamilton on Saturday.
Having already clocked nearly 40,000 air miles, the Sharks confounded critics when they first flew to Brisbane to beat the Aussie champion Reds and then headed back to South Africa to beat the SA champion and table-topping Stormers in Cape Town.
In a further boost the Sharks added Springbok utility back Pat Lambie and Sevens Bok Paul Jordaan to the match 22 that defeated the Stormers - to make up the 24-man touring squad that arrived in Sydney on Monday.
Both players were in a race against time to be fit for the semifinal, and although the pair didn't make it, they are expected to be available for Saturday's Final.
With the news that Tim Whitehead has not made the trip to Australasia due to a hand injury there is the possibility that Lambie could be asked to square up to Sonny Bill Williams at inside centre, as this will allow Sharks coach John Plumtree to leave Michalak at flyhalf and Riaan Viljoen at fullback.
Viljoen's booming boot was key in the Sharks' impressive performance against the Stormers at Newlands, although Plumtree may still have a selection headache over who to pick on the right wing where Louis Ludik had such a strong game on Saturday.
Michalak has made no secret of the fact that he wants to "repay" the Sharks for helping him get back in the French Test squad - when he played for the first time in June this year, after an absence of more than two years.
"It is a big bonus for me to be with the Sharks," Michalak said of his return to Test rugby against Argentina earlier this year.
"I try to do my best and appreciate every moment, because when I leave for France [after the Super Rugby season], I want to go [home] with the trophy."
Asked if the experience of playing Test matches in Argentina, after the two-year break from the international arena, made a difference, Michalak said: "It may have helped me, but I think more the Sharks team that helped me to play my best.
"Also the confidence that the coach [John Plumtree] showed in me, I did my best to repay him."
Sharks squad: Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Willem Alberts, Anton Bresler, Keegan Daniel (captain), Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski, Charl McLeod, Frederic Michalak, Lwazi Mvovo, Meyer Bosman, Tim Whitehead, JP Pietersen, Louis Ludik, Craig Burden, Wiehahn Herbst, Steven Sykes, Jean Deysel, Jacques Botes, Odwa Ndungane, Riaan Viljoen, Patrick Lambie, Paul Jordaan.