Sailors looking for new horizons

A wave of increased temperature or pressure resulting from an explosion or earthquake or by the movement of a supersonic body is known as a shock wave. Last week the wave was not the result of any of the above which could have created a shock wave. What caused the shock wave for rugby fans was the defeat that CR suffered at the hands of the rookie Navy side.

For Navy it was a memorable win. A few days before there was a smaller a wave as news leaked that the CR first choice fly half Dev Anand was to change clubs. Dave Anand did not play for CR last week. Whether there was an impact of his absence for being the reason for the defeat of CR is arguable .His absence would have been a contributory factor though not been the main factor.

The defeat of CR has ensured another cup for Kandy unless of course they were to lose a minimum of two of the matches that are remaining and go down on bonus points. Kandy has three matches to play against Navy, Army and CR and FC. The performance and scores of the first leg does not give any luxury of predicting a possibility if Kandy losing. The odds are totally in favour of Kandy winning the league title.

The victory over CR makes Navy a proud rugby prospect and possibly a force to reckon with as the knockout is approached. In this game Navy puffed for most of the first half as they went to lead by eight points to three at the end of the first half. For thirty minutes of this half Navy lead just 05 points to three. If CR did not get hold of the game up to this time it was only they who should take the blame. There were eight penalties in the first half and all went for CR. Most of them were kicking range. CR at most times opted for a scrum or kicked into touch to gain space. Probably they were guided to score more tries for bonus points. They then thought that scoring through a penalty was not the most important. I failed to understand why somebody did not realize that for the bonus points to matter you first must win the game. For which getting ahead as early as possible in the game was important.

Sailors taught the red shirts a thing or two in their second round game. (Pic by Sanka Vidanagama)

On the other hand Navy who looked rag tagged in the first half despite the early lead came into the second half to hold on and win. In the process late in the second half they stuck gold and pushed the CR back to square one. To be contended with second place for another year. This was a victory for the Navy over CR after 23 years.

Navy came into the game not as a contender to beat a top side. They held onto the mercies that came their way and was leading at half time by eight points to three. They came back with a target of holding onto their lead and securing a win. They got organized and their plan was to keep CR in their half and then enjoy a bonus by scoring if it came their way. They stuck to the story and now the win is history. Navy must take note of their victory as a stepping stone for better things. They have to take note of some of their over enthusiastic players who keep getting a yellow card. Out of the game for 10 minutes puts a great pressure on the rest and thus the bravado has no contribution to the effort the others make.

Player switching clubs whether it is at the start or middle of the season will affect the game in many ways. First it breaks a club that has been moving with a strategy built around so of its key players. This will get disrupted and dropping of standards will result in spectators keeping away.

This will have a bearing on sponsors as well. It will also have an impact on the performance at the National level. As clubs lose players whether it be mid or start of the season the competition will become weak and the game will become less intensive. This would mean that the players may not perform at peak as the competition they get is inadequate. Thus the standards will drop at the top level too. The answer in my view is to ensure that the player transfer scheme is in place. I believe this has been addressed in the proposed constitution. The way as it happens now there is no way for emerging and or poor clubs to retain players. This in turn effects the continuation of clubs much to the detriment of the game.

Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRB

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