May 9, 2007
The Crusaders have settled into their Durban training base ahead of Saturday night’s Rebel Sport Super 14 semi-final against the Bulls at Pretoria.
The team arrived on the Natal coast at 10pm on Monday night (South African time) after a long journey from New Zealand, having over-nighted in Sydney on Sunday evening.
While the team departed Sydney on schedule at 10am Monday morning (local time) on their scheduled 13-hour flight to Johannesburg, a hold up entering through South African immigration at Oliver Tambo International Airport (Johannesburg) saw the side miss its connecting link to Durban.
That saw the 25 players and 10 management forced to wait for a further two hours in Johannesburg for a later flight, eventually arriving at the team hotel in Umhlanga 19 hours after having boarded the flight in Sydney.
Aaron Mauger, who missed the team’s Sunday departure due to a bout of illness, linked up with the rest of the party in Sydney on Monday morning and reported himself to be fully fit and raring to go.
Despite the long journey, the team has arrived in good spirits, and went through a light training run in Durban this afternoon before resuming a full training regime on tomorrow
The temperature in Durban today reached 29 degrees and similar temperatures are expected tomorrow.
The Crusaders will be based at sea level in Durban until Friday morning, before relocating to altitude when they head up to Pretoria.
An announcement on the Crusaders starting XV for the game will be made on Thursday afternoon (South African time), with first-five-eighths Daniel Carter, winger Rico Gear, halfback Kevin Senio and prop Wyatt Crockett all hopeful of being available after having missed last weekend’s match with the Chiefs.
All three players were involved fully in today’s session.
Kick off for the semi-final is at 5.30pm local time (3.30am, Sunday May 13, NZ time). Australian Matt Goddard*, who was on the Crusaders flight from Sydney, has been appointed to referee the match.