Wellington - Springbok Sevens coach, Paul Treu, hopes a new approach in the build-up towards the Wellington Sevens will have the desired effect when his team play in the New Zealand leg of the 2010/11 HSBC Sevens World Series on Friday and Saturday.
Treu has done away with training matches in the week of a tournament since the start of the current World Series in December last year. The team's training sessions are now shorter - usually an hour long, but much more intense.
"I did sense this week the guys were really hungry and eager to get onto the playing field, so the decision not to play warm-up matches in the week of a tournament seems to have a very positive effect.
"The weather conditions in Wellington have also forced us to alter our approach somewhat and earlier on Wednesday we have had an indoor session. We are now looking forward to the Captain's Run on Thursday before the start of action on Friday," explained Treu.
Plate winners in Dubai and George, the experienced coach knows they have played well at times, but have twice failed to take their chances in the crucial Cup quarter-finals.
"We were so close, 19-7 up against Fiji in Dubai and 10-5 up at half time against England in George, but both times we gave it away and I think the players now realise we have the potential to put teams away and to start winning tournaments," added Treu, who faces a duel with defending Wellington champions Fiji as early as day one here.
So far in this Series, South Africa have scored 42 tries and 17 of them have gone to one man, Cecil Afrika, the leading try scorer in the Series. A jaw injury sustained in George means Afrika will not be in action in Wellington and Las Vegas.
"It's going to be very difficult without him," admitted Treu.
"If you look at our highlights and clips he's been phenomenal in our attacking plays and it going to be difficult to replace him.
"That's why it's important players such as Paul Delport, Branco du Preez and Renfred Dazel, come back into the side and step into that role because it's going to be important for the other players that they keep on setting up the plays and hopefully keep attacking the space."
South Africa face Canada in their opening encounter, followed by France and Fiji. SuperSport will broadcast all matches live on CSN and SS1.