Beware the Yankee pride, warns Treu

Beware the Yankee pride. That is the message of Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu to his team who are grouped with the US Eagles, England and Mexico for tomorrow and Sunday's San Diego leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.

Beware the Yankee pride. That is the message of Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu to his team who are grouped with the US Eagles, England and Mexico for tomorrow and Sunday's San Diego leg of the IRB World Sevens Series.

Takudzwa Ngwenya, the man who scored what was voted the IRB's 2007 Try of the Season after rounding Bryan Habana with sheer pace in the World Cup, has been given permission by his French club Biarritz to play in the tournament.

He is one of the reasons Treu is not at ease for what seems like a seemingly easy draw.

"He is a factor. But the Eagles as a whole are a difficult team. They lost the Plate final in George by a single point, and beat Samoa in that tournament. They also won the Shield final in Wellington. They believe in themselves, are well-coached, confident and at home.

"This, and the fact they always start well, are things we have to be wary of. As it is, we play them first up," Treu said from San Diego yesterday.

He refrained from saying the Boks are slow starters in tournaments, though this bugbear seems to have been removed in recent tournaments.

Treu is upbeat about his team's chances.

"The guys just didn't have the urgency against Tonga [in the New Zealand leg of the series], and we still came very close and only lost that match because of our goal kicking."

The Springboks will meet Argentina, Kenya or Canada in the quarterfinals and, if they are group winners, will come up against New Zealand in the semifinal.

The All Blacks are favourites but will have to contend with Fiji, Samoa or Australia in the quarters. - Sapa

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