Get Newsletter

Kimberley diamond stacks up the points

SPOTLIGHT: Lubabalo Dobela has been one of the stand-out flyhalves in the Currie Cup this season as one of the top points scorers in the competition.

ADVERTISEMENT

The 25-year-old has made Kimberley his home after a stint with the Blitzboks and have been quite impressive having amassed 78 points after 12 rounds, which places him fourth on the list of points scorers this season.

Dobela was born in East London and matriculated from Grey High in Port Elizabeth. In 2018, he represented the Baby Boks in France alongside Wandisile Simelane, Tyrone Green, Zak Burger, Salmaan Moerat and Ruan Nortje.

He caught the eye of other coaches, amongst them Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie, who was excited about the youngsters’ skills as an attacking flyhalf.

“He’s got exceptional speed, and has an ,” said Bergh.

“I hope he gives us a different dynamic in our attack. He’s a player who likes to attack the line, he’s got a good pass on both sides, and he’s a good defender. You can’t play Sevens if you can’t tackle.”

Dobela was contracted by the Cheetahs and also joined the SA Sevens Academy in 2020 from where he made his Blitzboks debut last year. This was after turning out for the Junior Boks in 2018 where he played alongside the likes of Salmaan Moerat, Ruan Nortje, Wandisile Simelane, Zak Burger and Tyrone Green.

ADVERTISEMENT

When he decided to give up Sevens, Griquas coach Pieter Bergh jumped at the opportunity to sighn him.

“He was ready to go in XVs. I’m so excited about him,” Bergh said.

“He’s a quality player, and he’s probably learned a lot more having spent time at the Blitzboks. He’s got good hands and vision and hopefully for us he will make a few mistakes on Friday. We’re certainly going to have to try and put him under a bit of pressure.”

Dobela has rugby running through his veins and hails his father, David Dobela, as the biggest influence on his career. David is a coach with the Border Bulldogs and has a wealth of coaching experience, having worked through the national coaching system.

ADVERTISEMENT

The move to Kimberley has been one that the young flyhalf has embraced.

“I’m enjoying rugby a lot here, and it’s quite a quiet place. I’ve been enjoying the relaxed time as well.”

Dobela is a prolific goal kicker and his kicking boot has given Griquas an edge against the bigger unions, often keeping them in the game as he piles on the points.

(Continue reading below…)

“I try to put in time every day with my kicking. Not always long sessions but I try to keep at it,” he explains.

“It’s been challenging to play against the bigger names in the country, but great. I’m really enjoying myself.”

During his time with the Cheetahs, Dobela found himself playing Varsity Cup for Shimlas. His Varsity Cup debut is still one of the highlights of his career thus far.

“The unmatched energy and vibe at the game is great. Winning the Player that Rocks on debut was the cherry on top,” he says.

While Dobela is plying his trade in the peacock blue jersey this season, there is not doubt that he will be snapped up by a big franchise soon.

“My short term goal is to just keep improving everyday. Long term is to have a long and dominant career on the world stage, whether that be internationally or in union rugby anywhere.”

As a student of the game, Dobela is a huge fan of Scotland flyhalf Finn Russell, known for his impressive passing game and widely regarded as a genius on the field.

Join free

Two-time Commonwealth champion to Paris Olympian | Georgia-Mae Fenton | Stronger Than You Think | S3 Ep 3

England vs France | World Rugby U20 Championship Final | Full Match Replay

Scotland vs USA | U20 Trophy Final | Full Match Replay

Boks Office | Episode 15 | Extreme Golf Special

Embedded 2024 | England | Episode 4

Before They Make It | South Africa

Before They Make It | England

Aotearoa Rugby Podcast | Episode 22

Women's Six Nations winner to Paris Olympic sevens for Team GB | Ellie Kildunne | Stronger Than You Think | S3 Ep 2

Write A Comment