With a new-look match-day squad featuring six debutantes in their second Test last weekend, Davids did not give much away in terms of selection as Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber prepares to name his team on Tuesday, but he said the lessons learned from last week’s game were invaluable.
“It’s always awful to lose a match in the Springbok jersey,” said Davids. “Every time we play, we want to win.
“This Saturday is a final for us and we will select the best team that can achieve the results we would like this weekend.”
Commenting on the wholesale changes to the team last week, which included 14 new faces in the starting lineup to the team that steered the side to a 32-29 victory in their opening Test in Pretoria, Davids said: “We made a number of changes last week to expose players to the demands of Test rugby and we believe we got a lot of answers and learned several lessons.
“We know where we are now (in terms of our depth), and which players can play at this level.
“If we had won that Test it would have been a case of ticking a box in the final Test.”
Looking ahead at Saturday’s closing Castle Lager Incoming Series match Davids said: “There are small margins and not a lot of opportunities in the opposition’s 22 in Test rugby, so decision-making in that area will be crucial and we have to make the most of the opportunities we create.”
Of the Welsh side, who have challenged the Boks regularly over the last few seasons, he said: “They are prepared to go dark places to challenge you, and they present a massive challenge in stopping mauls and getting stuck into scrums. So, we will have to impose ourselves for the full 80 minutes.”
Malherbe shared Davids’ disappointment that they could not pull through the victory last week and said: “The fact that we lost last week’s match is a reality, so it is our responsibility to be clinical and efficient in our preparation this week and to do everything we can to win what is essentially a final.
“The teams are tied one-all in the series, so Wales will enter the match with a lot of self-confidence. For us it will be a matter of working on the areas of our game that we need to be improve on so we can be more effective.”
Davids said that the only player out of contention for selection for Saturday’s series decider was centre Andre Esterhuizen, who broke his hand, which is expected to sideline him for four weeks.