The Border Bulldogs will be looking to bounce back from their opening match defeat, when they take on the South Western District Eagles in their second game of the Currie Cup First Division at Outeniqua Park in George tonight.
Both the Bulldogs and the Eagles will be hunting their first wins, with the Bulldogs going down against the Valke in East London, while the Eagles drew with the Leopards in their opening match.
“I am hoping the guys can bounce back and get a good win this weekend,” said Bulldogs coach David Dobela.
“I believe we are good enough to get the win and the guys just have to play to our structures and do the basics right and we will do well.”
The Bulldogs have made just three changes to the starting team, with all of them rotational, as prop Yanga Xakalashe and hooker Ludwe Booi come in and Blake Kyd and Mihlali Mpafi drop to the bench.
Lock Athenkosi Ketani also comes into the starting lineup, with Johannes Janse van Rensburg dropping out the match 22 and Ayabonga Nomboyo coming on to the bench.
“Xakalashe and Booi played very well when they came on last weekend and I wanted them to get a start, so Blake and Mpafi will play off the bench,” said Dobela.
“I also thought it was a good time to bring Ayabonga into the set-up. He has been doing well in training, so I thought he needed some game time and he will get a chance off the bench on Friday.
“I am happy with our team. It is a good side, but we face a tough test against SWD.”
With captain Kyd on the bench, flank Billy Dutton will step into the breach, while centre Lunga Dumezweni remains vice-captain.
“I think Billy will do well as captain. He has all the proven qualities of a leader,” said Dobela.
After the Valke loss the Bulldogs had a few things to work on during the week, and Dobela believes they have adequately covered them over the past few days.
“We have been working on our setpieces this week. The guys have been focusing on our scrums, lineouts and groundwork, which will be important in this game,” said Dobela.
“The most important part of the match will be the opening 20 minutes. If we can hold them and score some good points of our own it will put us in the perfect position to go for the win from.”
The Border Bulldogs: Yanga Xakalashe; Ludwe Booi, Lwando Mabenge, Hendri Storm, Athenkosi Kethani; Lukhanyo Nomzanga, Billy Dutton (capt); Sokuphumla Xakalashe, Bangihlombe Kobese; Saneliso Ngoma, Siyasanga Ncanywa, Lunga Dumezweni(v-capt), Siphosethu Tom, Lelethu Gcilitshane, Sonwabiso Mqalo
Reserves: Mihlali Mpafi, Blake Kyd, Ayabonga Nomboyo, Onke Dubase, Sinovuyo Nyoka, Xolela Payi, Lundi Ralarala