is the best
Air Force Vs. Kandy Youth
(Kandy Youth won 26-25)
In a close game the much improved Kandy Youth team beat the Air
Force in the Plate Championship avenging their defeat in the first
round. They play Navy this week in Kandy and this should be a close
the 2nd Leg of the Bradby and the CH/Kandy game clashed with the
CR/Police and Army/Havelocks games but scores and reports convey
my earlier views.
FC Vs. Police
(Police won 14-13)
As I said before the Police are now playing exciting rugby and will
be a strong force to reckon with in the Knock-out tournaments. Their
forwards are their strength. With more games, the Police three quarters
will improve. They need to understand how to read a game and play
accordingly. Sudath Sampath is a good reader of the game but he
comes in as a replacement generally. Harsha Wijeweera is shaping
(Army won 41-28)
Another good game with an improved performance from the Havelocks.
These 2nd Round matches have so far been hotly contested with the
exception of the Kandy Sports Club games. Havelocks need more quality
possession. Getting over the 'gain-line' is priority. Securing possession
and ending up behind the 'gain-line' results in teams going back!
They must use possession to go forward. The CH/Havelocks should
be a thriller.
(Navy won 30-22)
A close call for the Navy but a fine performance by OZSC. Navy should
be at full strength, I am told, for their game against Kandy Youth.
A number of interceptions by OZSC upset the Navy who were caught
napping. The Navy needs more replacements as at present they posses
very few knowledgeable players.
It is left to Senior Officials in the Navy to ensure that quality
players are recruited - like in the Army. I am confident that this
will boost Navy rugby. At present their forwards are adequate but
three quarters are lacking.
CH & FC
(Kandy won 51-5)
It was a crushing defeat for CH and an excellent win by Kandy. As
I said before, Kandy is the best team in the League Tournament.
Their forwards are strong and fit whilst their three quarters are
adequate in play but are also fit. Their three quarter play has
to improve - there is a lack of fluency in their play except when
Nalaka Weerakody joins the line. This lad gives thrust to the threes.
In the past three games he has shown commitment and concentrates
much more - keep it up. For the CH, a woeful story.
chances of scoring in the first 15 minutes and thereafter more or
less gave up! I noticed that the CH were short of options during
play. Their threes were tackled in their stride. At the outset the
CH decided to put the ball up and follow. This did not pay off.
coach C.P. Abeygunawardene switched Weerakody to wing and Radhika
Hettiarachchi to full back time and again but CH continued aimless
kicking. Game plan for CH was stereo-type and they did not vary
'Roses' stole the limelight
rugby exhibition match between Kelani Valley 'Roses' and Anuradhapura
Swarnapali Balika preceded the Caltex 'A' league match between table
leaders, and defending champions Kandy SC and CH&FC at Nittawela
last wekend (Sunday).
The little girls
from K.V. though small in stature, have picked up the skills. They
ran the ball at every given turn to bemuse their opponents. The
A'pura girls, too played well despite taking to this manly sport
Rugby is fast
catching up in the North Central Province, thanks to the encouragement
given by the Army Maj. Dhammika Gunasekera and S. Liyanage and of
course its Principal Mrs. Ratnayake helping.
section of the Army stationed in A'pura, Capt. Tilini inspired them.
According to Coach Nimal Wijesiri, the girls have shown marked improvement
since last year. PTI Mipagala has been handling the squad and does
the physical training. They are keen and are prepared to learn,
K.V. 'Roses' has been in the scrum for some time. They are assisted
by Arjun Dharmadasa who is also the chairman of the rugby development
The girls are
afforded with a district tournament. Today it's a popular sport
in Sabaragamuwa (both boys and girls). There are eight clubs formed
playing competitive rugby at district level. (B.W.)