Davids on Boks doubling down on Dweba starting: He gained experience in pressure situations

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  • Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids explained the decision to stick with Joseph Dweba as starting hooker against the Wallabies in Adelaide on Saturday.
  • Dweba was targeted by the All Blacks at Ellis Park in the Boks' defeat and lasted just 30 minutes.
  • In-form Malcolm Marx continues in his role as a reserve this weekend.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids tried to detangle the web of confusion around the doubling down on starting inexperienced hooker Joseph Dweba ahead of Malcolm Marx.

In just his third international outing, Dweba started against the All Blacks in the Ellis Park defeat despite reserve Malcolm Marx having a stormer in the 26-10 victory in Mbombela, a move the visitors admittedly targeted.

Dweba lasted just 30 minutes before being mercifully ejected by head coach Jacques Nienaber after struggling in the lineout and general play.

The maul couldn't get going either, while Dweba couldn’t exert his usual physicality on the New Zealanders for his brief appearance.

The Boks have repeated the trick that failed to bring desired results, according to onlookers outside the inner workings, by selecting Dweba to start against the Wallabies in Adelaide this weekend and Marx again benching.

Davids, however, saw the exercise as being important for Stormers-bound Dweba to gain experience in high-pressure situations.

"We're glad for the opportunity that Dweba got in the [All Blacks] game," Davids said.

"When you look at the contribution he makes in different departments, that is as important for us just as throwing, scrumming or kicking is important.

"If you look at these games and the pressure situations, a hooker will always be in a situation where they make a loose throw here and there.

"We're just glad he got an opportunity to play against such a quality side in such pressure conditions and do well.

"That's the reason we are looking forward to him getting another opportunity to build his experience against great teams."

Springbok team:

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Warrick Gelant, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jaden Hendrikse, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Frans Steyn

The Boks have also tinkered with their front row significantly in this international window, starting Ox Nche at loosehead before switching to Trevor Nyakane, a tighthead most days, and reverting back to Nche.

Thomas du Toit also played a game at loosehead against Wales in Bloemfontein. Tighthead Frans Malherbe has been the only front row constant.

"We're excited to have quality starting props and a quality front row coming off the bench," said Davids.

"This is their second game this year that they start together and I think they will grow as a combination and get better in terms of building experience.

"Trevor is obviously a quality player that can play loosehead and tighthead. Any team will miss a player like that.

"But in this team, it's about everyone assisting and helping each other to become better and gain experience, in order to grow everyone's experience."

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