Travelling pains for Crusaders

Tue, 01 Aug 2017 08:19

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Crusaders’ journey to South Africa could put the New Zealanders on the backfoot when their take to the field come Saturday. 

After their 27-13 semi-final win over the Chiefs in Christchurch at the weekend, the Crusaders travelled more than 13 000 kilometres and 16 hours for the final against the Lions.

According to Stuff,  Crusaders' heavy Super Rugby schedule ahead of the final is a huge disadvantage compared to the Lions’ campaigns.

The Lions secured a final spot without playing any New Zealand franchise in the round-robin and have the privilege of three play-off matches at home in Johannesburg.

"Evidence does suggest if you are significantly jet lagged your performance will drop,"  New Zealand Rugby medical chief Ian Murphy told

"It's around precision activities as well. It's how coordinated you are and how good your reaction times are and that sort of thing.

"There is a reason home advantage is exactly that. Home advantage and the issues the travelling team face around jet-lag and time zones and the fact they're travelling long distances. Between all that [The Lions] have got an advantage before you start,"  he added.

The Crusaders left Christchurch on Sunday and will have a week to prepare in Johannesburg.

Murphy said the effects of jet lag can be mitigated, but can never fully be overcome in a short turnaround of one week.

Super Rugby history shows travel for playoffs can kill the momentum of a winning side.

In 2011 the Crusaders travelled more than 110 000km during the season and 31 937km for the finals alone only to lose to the Reds in Brisbane.

The 2013 Brumbies covered 25 056km during the finals but were outgunned in the second half of the decider against the Chiefs.

The Chiefs of 2009 trekked to Pretoria for a final against the Bulls and were beaten 61-17.


There are currently no matches being played
Mon, 19 February 2018
NMMU-Madibaz v Wits 14h45 Port Elizabeth
Maties v CUT-Ixias 16h30 Cape Town
UCT-Ikeys v Shimlas 16h30 Cape Town
NWU-Pukke v UJ 17h00 Potchefstroom
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 0 0 0 0 0
Reds 0 0 0 0 0
Waratahs 0 0 0 0 0
Sunwolves 0 0 0 0 0
Rebels 0 0 0 0 0
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 0 0 0 0 0
Hurricanes 0 0 0 0 0
Chiefs 0 0 0 0 0
Highlanders 0 0 0 0 0
Blues 0 0 0 0 0
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 1 1 0 0 4
Lions 1 1 0 0 4
Sharks 1 0 0 1 1
Bulls 0 0 0 0 0
Jaguares 1 0 0 1 0