Paul Treu says the Springbok Sevens’ poor start to their World Series title defence is mainly because of injuries and inexperience.
After the opening two tournaments in Dubai and George, the Blitzboks find themselves in a disappointing eighth spot on the World Series log, 32 points behind leaders New Zealand.
In the Boks’ defence, they do have a different squad that triumphed last season as players, such as Robert Ebersohn, Lionel Mapoe, Philip Snyman and Gio Aplon, have committed to their respective Super 14 franchises.
Injuries have also hampered Treu’s men this season as experienced campaigners, like Marius Schoeman, Neil Powell, Renfred Dazel and skipper Paul Delport, were sidelined during the campaign. This meant Treu had to depend on a weakened side.
‘It’s definitely been a disappointing start to the season,’ the head coach told keo.co.za. ‘We suffered some injuries at a late stage and had to rely on inexperienced players to fill in.
‘That’s something very difficult for me as the gap between our first team players and inexperienced guys is quite big. Some of the new players can’t cope at the same level.’
Treu, however, has enjoyed some success since their poor start as the SA Vipers won the Mar del Plata Sevens tournament in Argentina last week Thrusday, beating the hosts 29-7 in the final.
The team has also received some good news that Dazel and Powell are on their way back to match fitness.
‘It will be great to have them back in time for the trip to Wellington,’ said Treu. ‘We will begin preparations soon and hopefully sort out a few things before then.’
The Wellington Sevens kickoff on 5 February.
By Gareth Duncan