Sport

Cheetahs Hooker Dweba Hits 50

Toyota Cheetahs hooker Joseph Dweba will play his 50th match for the team as the Bloemfontein side looks to bounce back from their defeat at the hands of Connacht when they take on the Scarletts tomorrow (Sat) in their PRO14 Rugby game in Llanelli.

Dweba, who has been an inspiration for the side with five tries this season and was also one of the forms forwards in the Cheetahs’ victory in the Currie Cup this season, has continued his fine form as the team head into their second tour match in Europe.

Coach Hawies Fourie believes Dweba can inspire the team further this weekend and is hoping for him to continue his form for the side.

“It is a special achievement for any player and I’m really glad for Joseph. He is putting in the hard yards and I’m hoping he will repeat that success this weekend and show the way for the Cheetahs,” Fourie said.

“Joseph is an inspiration for many of the players in the team and we really hope he has a great game again,” he noted.

Dweba’s motivation comes not from a desire to succeed, but closer to home than that. The 23-year old became a father just over a year ago, making him reassess his life and what he wants to achieve out of his rugby career.

“I’m just motivated. That’s it. I’m motivated and the person that is driving me is my son. I’m basically doing this for him,” Dweba explains.

“I’ve now got a reason why I’m playing this game. Back in the day I only had a reason to play for my family but now I have a responsibility to take on. If I don’t perform there is no food on the table. If I don’t play, nothing is going to be eaten. That is my motivation.”

At 14 months old, his son Khayoné Nkosi Dweba is the centre point of his life right now, and Dweba wants more than anything to create a legacy his son can look up to.

While Super Rugby may be popular in South Africa, the hooker believes his skill levels have improved by competing in PRO14 Rugby and that the weekly tests he faces up against international players have made him a better player all-round.

“The competition helps us a lot to grow as players. You get to test yourself against the best of the best. You get to test where you stand in world rugby, and that is important, especially for me as a hooker.

“You play against internationals and you can see where you are lacking and where can I improve my own game. We saw that in the Currie Cup as well and our success there proves that we are learning from everything that we are doing,” points out Dweba.

“People say that PRO14 isn’t quick, but it is a lot quicker than they realise. You could see that from last weekend’s game against Glasgow. With Super Rugby, one mistake is a try while with PRO14 you get tested in terms of physicality.

“We saw this against Glasgow or Ospreys or Leinster. They keep the ball for phases and phases until there is an opening. In Super Rugby, it is more skill, and they are looking for one on one mismatches. That is the one difference for me. Your all-round game needs to be better,” he adds.

At the moment he isn’t thinking about higher honours. Simply put, he wants to enjoy his rugby and inspire his son. Anything extra is a bonus.

“To be honest, I’m really just enjoying myself and my rugby,’ Dweba says. “I want to do this for my family and use the talent that has been given to me. Whatever happens, will happen and that is what has been currently happening.

“I’ve been enjoying myself and the results have been coming through. And that’s just me.

“I’m a plain old person, I love free spaces and to be with my kid. I focus all my attention on him. Even if I come home miserable, he changes it into a smile and keeps me going. That’s me, nothing special, just loving spending time with him. I just want to build on what I’m doing, and to play consistently and enjoy my rugby,” the hooker says.

By: Thapelo Molebatsi