Treu: Prep could not have been better(IRB.COM) Monday 24 June 2013
Springbok Sevens men's coach Paul Treu gives his views on rwcsevens.com from Moscow just days out from the RWC Sevens.
Here we are in Moscow of all places and my Springbok Sevens team is raring to go.
I think it is fair to say that we have underperformed at Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments in the past and we are certainly under no illusion that this time it will be more difficult than ever before.
The fact is that we have this opportunity to do it for the first time ever and that will be a massive driving force to the team.
The Springboks have won the World Cup twice and we have seen what that meant to the country, so we are pretty motivated to try and do the same.
If I knew what it was going to take to win it, I certainly wouldn't share it until after the tournament! But joking aside, winning tournaments is determined by a lot of things: your preparation and planning beforehand has to be spot-on, your players must stay fit and injury-free and you also need some luck along the way.
I think we have ticked the first box, the rest we can only determine once the tournament kicks off. What I can say, though, is that we gave ourselves the best possible chance to win it with our prep.
South Africa lost to Argentina in the 2009 RWC Sevens quarter finals
Some people will inevitably point to our three great wins on the World Series - in Las Vegas, Tokyo and Glasgow - and give us the favourites tag. Yes, we did win three tournaments, but equally we lost games to Canada and the USA. We certainly back ourselves in certain situations, but I don’t think we like the favourites tag. The margins are so small at this level, it is almost unreal.
The bottom line is that you have to play your best rugby when it really matters and in those three finals we managed to do that against a very tough opponent. That is very comforting, but the obvious challenge will be to do it again at this event, if needed.
Two massive players for me in those finals were Frankie Horne and Paul Delport and I have neither of those in Moscow, which is a big blow.
Kyle Brown does return, though, and he is our natural leader and a world class player, so he is always one of the first names I write down. With Frankie and Paul out we lose a lot of experience, but Kyle has played in almost 40 tournaments as well, so he fills that gap nicely. His impact in the team, as a player and a leader, is massive, so I am very pleased to have him back, although he has not played in more than six months.
Good luck to all the teams - as I said before, international Rugby Sevens is all about tight margins these days. I just hope we get the bounce of the ball.
South Africa's men face Scotland, Japan and tournament hosts Russia in pool play on days one and two.