Caution rules in SA camp

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 29 March, 1998, 12:00am

WORLD Cup Sevens runners-up South Africa are on course for a second consecutive appearance in a Hong Kong final after winning all three of their Pool A matches.

The South Africans, who are led by 1995 World Cup hero Chester Williams, had little difficulty in securing their place in the Cup quarter-finals with easy wins over the Netherlands and Spain yesterday.

The Springboks defeated the Dutch 28-14 before romping to a 28-7 win over the Spaniards.

But captain Williams was cautious about his team's prospects in today's knockout phase and picked reigning champions New Zealand as the team to look out for.

'I'm quite pleased with everything so far but this is only the first round. There are a lot of good teams here . . . I think New Zealand look very strong and Fiji as well.

'Australia I think are another team that look very well organised,' he added.

The Springboks have a young, untested side who had not played together prior to the tournament. 'These are our first games together as a team and we are not expecting anything from this tournament . . . we just want to take every game as it comes,' Williams said.

'There are strong sides here but sevens is a funny game. You can be on top one minute and on the bottom the next so anything can happen.' Williams, 27, is making his first appearance in a South African jersey since coming back from a series of knee injuries that have seen the Western Stormers star sidelined for much of the past two seasons.

He is now praying for a prolonged injury-free spell in an attempt to force his way back into the full Springbok side for this year's Tri-Nations series - but admitted he was going to have to battle to win his place back in the Test squad.

'There are a lot of other very good wingers around now and most of them are younger than I am. It is going to be hard work getting back into the squad,' he said.