South African Sevens promise better show at Emirates Dubai

DUBAI - The South African Sevens side has plenty to prove when it returns to Dubai for next month’s Emirates Airline Dubai Rugby Sevens.

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Fri 19 Nov 2010, 11:48 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:03 AM

After the disappointment of being knocked out at the Cup quarter-final stage last year, South Africa coach Paul Treu believes they owe supporters in Dubai a better performance this time.

“After not doing so well last year, losing in the quarterfinal to Fiji, we would really like to do better. I think we deserve better and I think Dubai deserves better from us and hopefully we can come back and give them that,” said Treu.

“You are going to see quite a few new faces in the side but we’re very optimistic that we can do well,” added the coach, whose side claimed both the Dubai title and the overall series title in the 2008/2009 series.

“Coming off winning the World Series just the year before and then coming into the Dubai tournament last year, obviously the expectations were going to be high and unfortunately we couldn’t deliver. It was a tough season for us. I think we just lost too many of those key players. It was just a terrible year in terms of injuries,” said Treu.

Having recently claimed a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi (with victory over England in the play-off match), Treu is confident that his side can bounce back from the disappointment of last year.

South Africa have been drawn in the same pool as Australia (the team they lost out to in the Plate final in Dubai last year), Scotland and Russia.

“Coming in as defending champions, everyone playing against us just wanted to knock us out of the park. They just upped their game. I think the teams are just more competitive. It’s going to be more difficult for teams like New Zealand. Even Samoa, as last season’s series champions, will be in the exactly same boat as we were last year. The thing is the Zimbabweans, and the Kenyans and the USAs of the world are going to step up and really become a force to be reckoned with going forward,” added Treu.

The South Africans based themselves in Dubai prior to their Commonwealth Games campaign in October and Treu is relishing the prospect of returning to the city – which has been a happy hunting ground for his team in the past.

“We’re really looking forward to coming back to Dubai – just to come here and experience so many people coming to enjoy the tournament, the atmosphere and the stadium. Just the hospitality of the people in Dubai is really awesome. This is one of the best Sevens tournaments in the world. This will kick-start our campaign to hopefully win the series for a second time. Apart from last year we’ve always done well, having won it in 2003, 2006 and 2008 so we would like to go all the way and hopefully do it again.”

Meanwhile, tickets to the action are still available online through and by calling Ticketline on 8004669.

A free bus service will be transporting fans from 7he Sevens back to several convenient locations across Dubai. Starting from 5pm on December 2 and 7pm on December 3 and December 4, the drop-off points are Dubai Festival City, Dubai Media City (family drop-off points), Barzar (Madinat Jumeirah), Double Decker, Irish Village, Chi The Lodge, Barasti.

More news from