need a new way of thinking
Around the Rugby clubs
By Bernie Wijesekera
Gone are the days when the crowds wended their way
to watch the chocolate and orange hoop shirted club Havelocks SC
, in action at the 'Park'. That, too to the heart-throbbing echo
"Go Havies, Go". Sad to mention its rugby has hit a new
low for reasons best known to them.
the past it was mainly a rugby club. Apparently the officials and
the players in the past worked and scrummed down for the right reasons.
In its wake served the national cause. There were no sponsors, to
promote the game. The players never demanded money but spent their
own resources to indulge in this beautiful sport.
my mind there were quite a number of them, who added the fire and
sparks. The likes of late Nimal Maralande Maurice Silva, late Dr.
Hubert Aloysius, Glen Vanlangenberg, Jeff Ratnam, Thajone Savenghan,
"Gogi" Tillekeratne, Jupana Jayawardena, DLY Paktsun,
Quentin Israel, Lal Silva, Gamini Fernando, Y.C. Chang, Denzil Kobbekaduwe,
Shafie Jainudeen, Anton Benedict, Angelo Wickremaratne, Micheal
Jayasekera, P.L. Munasinghe etc. Most of the Isipatana players got
their baptism at the Havelocks - Anura Uduwelagadera, Hisham Abdeen,
Pradeep Lakshantha, Roger Rodrigo, Selvyn Sallay, Randy Pietersz.
of yester year Chaminda Rupasinghe ( now a national selector ) Kolitha
Gunatilleke, Royce Samaratunga, Marco de Silva. They made their
name at the Havies. And then apparently some of them migrated lured
by the money culture.
Havelocks S.C. one of the oldest rugby playing clubs needs
fresh blood to revive the sport. Apparently petty politics and factions
caused its downward trend. The last time they won a major title
was in 1984 - the President's Trophy under late Selvyn Sallay. They
defeated Police SC in a thriller.
it was a long wait - after 19 years in 2003 they beat traditional
rivals CR&FC under Shaffie Hassan at Longdon Place.
the coming season the Park Club is striving to create a revolution
with an infrastructure for the future, said coach Tony Amit, who
possess experience as coach cum referee. Amit assisted by Alex (Chanaka
Nishantha, former Havies winger).
is a squad of 35 players. The team led by Ravi Ganapathy, a granite
hard flanker. This year the team will comprise a blend of youth
and experience with an average age of 22.
team may not be able to perform miracles, but it takes time in any
walk of life. The youngsters are totally committed and work hard.
Expect a couple of surprises."
the newcomers - Lakshitha Gunaratne a tough No. 8. He has returned
from Australia. He is the son of Rohan, the former Police and Sri
Lanka No. 8. Asanga Gomes, a forward from St. John's Nugegoda.
are a couple of young prospects from Wesley, Ananda and Zahira,
who will scrum down. The management is giving all encouragement
headed by Lal Silva, Wimal Senanayake, Royce Samaratunga."
about the overseas players Amit said. "The clubs expect the
foreigners to do all the spadework. Apparently it has caused lethargy
in some quarters. Keeping foreigners out of the scrum could help
to gauge our strength. At national level no foreigners are allowed
unlike in other Asian countries.
- Hookers - Rajiv Perera, Asela Abeykoon, Props - Suranga Amerasinghe/flanker.
Forwards - Lakshitha Gunaratne (No. 8), Nuwan Samith, S. Badurdeen,
Tyronne Hrrison, Scrum Halves - Roshan Rajapakse, D. Sajeewa. Fly-
Halves - Prasad Perera, Wasim Thajudeen.
- Shafiz Hassan, Rajiv Perera, Ravi Ganapathy (Capt.), Asanga Gomes,
Sadun Udara, Lahiru Boteju, Ananda Dissanayake Three Quarters -
Lakala Perera, Sumith Jagoda, Ruwan Suranga, S. Badurdeen, Fullback
- Saliya Kumara. Besides there are 10 to 12 schoolboys from Kandy
Schools, who have joined the Havies scrum.