Dubase warns Kings of Bulldogs' bite
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Southern Kings are in for a rude awakening if they think their first pre-season outing, against the Border Bulldogs, will be the proverbial walk in the park.
If there is one man who will know what the Kings should expect from the Bulldogs when the two teams meet at East London's Buffalo Stadium on Saturday, it is flank Onke Dubase.
The 27-year-old loose forward has been working hard during Super Rugby pre-season, in the hope of getting the nod for the final Southern Kings squad for the competition.
Dubase was called up to the Kings by coach Deon Davids after the talented flank impressed with numerous man-of-the-match awards for the Bulldogs in their First Division campaign in 2016.
"I feel privileged and blessed to be part of the Southern Kings squad, and knew that I had to work hard to stay where I wanted to be - Super Rugby," said Dubase.
"The team is looking sharp, especially in terms of the team environment.
"The guys are really clicking and you find that some of the guys who joined at a later stage are also adapting very well. We do have that brotherhood in us."
After having been a member of the Border Bulldogs team since 2010, the mobile loose forward is excited and emotional about the prospect of facing the East London-based side for the first time as an opponent.
He is wary of what the Southern Kings can expect from the team he led last year.
"They are going to bring it," he said.
"They never shy away from physicality. The backline is just blitz and they are going to come hard.
"Most of them do believe that they are supposed to be playing Super Rugby. They will bring it so they can show that they do deserve the chance as well.
"It will be quite an emotional game for me, my first time playing against them. I have to bring it as well.
"They know how I play, and I know how they play, so it will be very interesting to see how we go about doing things."
Dubase is aware that his performance against the Border Bulldogs could go a long way in securing a spot in Coach Davids' final Super Rugby squad.
"It will all depend on how I do against the Border Bulldogs. I just have to pitch up for that game, no questions asked. It's going to be a very intense game.
"I'll be very basic, just sticking to the team structures and not do anything out of the ordinary. I will just have to trust my team and the structures," he said.
Border Bulldogs: 15 Cameron Lentoor, 14 Siphosenkosi Nofemele, 13 Lundi Ralarala, 12 Somila Mantyoy, 11 Michael Makase, 10 Ngoma Saneliso, 9 Bangihlombe Kobese, 8 Ndzondelelo Gemashe, 7 Siyabulela Mdaka (captain), 6 Sokuphumla Xakalashe, 5 Johannes van Rensburg, 4 Lindokuhle Welemu, 3 Phumlani Blaauw, 2 Mihlali Mpafi, 1 Siyamthanda Ngande.
Replacements - from: Mbeko Kota, Yanga Xakalashe, Thabiso NgomezuluBlake Kyd, Luzuko Nyabaza, Lwando Mabenge, Ayabongo Nomboyo, Hendri Storm, Athenkosi Khetani, Lukhanyo Nomzanga, Billy Dutton, Lukhanyo Siyobi, Abongile Nalo, Sinovuyo Nyoka, Oliver Zono, Siyasanga Ncanywa, Lunga Dumezweni, Lundi Ralarala, Lelethu Gcilitshane, Sonwabiso Mqalo.
Southern Kings: 15 Coyi Banda, 14 Malcolm Jaer, 13 Johann Tromp, 12 Berton Klaasen, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Ntabeni Dukisa, 9 Ricky Shroeder, 8 Christiaan de Bruin, 7 Thembelani Bholi, 6 Onke Dubase, 5 Cameron Lindsay, 4 Wandile Putuma, 3 Chris Heiberg, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Schalk van der Merwe.
Replacements - from: Kurt Haupt, Justin Forwood, Ross Geldenhuys, Irne Herbst, Mzwanele Zito, Tyler Paul, Andisa Ntsila, Johan Steyn, Garrick Mattheus, Waylon Murray, Makazole Mapimpi, Siyanda Grey, Chrysander Botha.
Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Buffalo Stadium, East London
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)