Boks become night owls to avoid jetlag - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Boks become night owls to avoid jetlag

By Jim Morton 28/08/2009 05:48:56 PM Comments (0)

The Springboks have become night owls to overturn their terrible Australasian road record on Saturday night and clinch the Tri-Nations.

South Africa's players have been going to bed as late as 2am each night and waking at midday in an attempt to overcome jet lag before their first away game of the tournament against the Wallabies.

The world champions have taken a leaf out of the book of their Super 14 champions, the Pretoria-based Bulls, by delaying their sleep.

Springboks and Bulls lineout general Victor Matfield revealed the ploy, which sees them keep the same bed time as if they were still in South Africa.

"That's something we've tried with the Bulls and it really worked in the first week (on the road) in the Super 14," Matfield said.

Renowned as road kill for much of the Tri-Nations, South Africa has only beaten the Wallabies twice in 16 Tests in Australia since the tournament kicked off in 1996 but both were in Perth, where they also forced a 14-14 draw in 2001.

The Wallabies prevailed 16-7 in their last Subiaco Oval meeting last year in a highly-physical clash to square the ledger at two wins apiece.

The Republic time zone is just six hours behind Perth, rather than eight hours behind Australia's east coast, and Matfield believes it and a large number of expats help make Subiaco Oval the closest thing to a Springbok home game away from Africa.

"It's not too far to travel and only six hours time difference and there's a lot of South Africans here to support us so it does make it a little bit easier," he said.

"But any game playing away in the Tri-Nations is tough.

"We look over the Super 14s and South African Super 14 teams have done better (recently) than in the long past so hopefully we can do the same with the Springboks and it's something that's needed if we want to be a successful team."

A fourth straight win would almost certainly assure the unbeaten Springboks a third Tri-Nations title.

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