CR’s step in the right direction
By Wimal Perera
By the time this article is published the results of the Sri Lanka match against Kazakasthan will be known. Whatever the result the performance so far of the national team has been very encouraging and will be a platform for the development in the future.

The immediate future will be the Commonwealth Games, the Asian Games and the Asiad. The improvement of skills and techniques will be a important aspect of training.

I had the opportunity to speak to Australian Grant Dwyer the CR and FC coach of what they are doing to improve the player base. The CR has selected palyers who are under 21 and are in training in what is termed the “academy”. The players are mostly school boys of recent times. They have been picked up from across the country. The intention is that the club will have a pool of players who will be improved in their skills and techniques. The emphasis is more on position specific training involving both exercise room work and practice on the ground. The gap in the skills and techniques required at the club and higher levels as compared to school rugby will be addressed. The club also intends to help them in finding suitable employment.

This definitely is a step in the right direction by the Longdon Place club and will help the progress of the game in the country. There is also an academy for mini rugby with the players practicing at the CR grounds. Hopefully others will follow and try to have their squads of juniors. Then one may have adequate numbers than being forced to concede a walkover. While CR has taken the initiative and trained the players it is possible that others may benefit.

The club may have to look after their interests and contract some of them. The program has a cost to the club and they must benefit from same. Well done CR! The way for the future is to know your expectations and plan to fulfill them.

In this respect what is important for the governing body whether at the national and provincial level is to have in place a well organized B division tournament which can be expanded to include a C division. Considering the numbers playing rugby at school level this not an impossibility.

Ronnie Ibrahim the Kingswood coach has been appointed as Assistant Coach to Geroge Simpkin for training the team to the Junior Asiad. This again is a step in the right direction and recognition of coaching a winning combination in the last couple of years. The expectancy that effort will lead to performance and the likelihood of this level of performance will lead to outcome and reward is motivation as explained by Lawler in the expectancy theory. Simple ground rules for success.

It is sad to note that while good things are happening the unsavory raises its head. It was reported that a referee was at the receiving end of punches from players at a match during the Army inter unit rugby tournament. The SLRFU sprung to action at a fast pace and initiated an inquiry and I understand necessary disciplinary action is being contemplated.

The action of the SLRFU will result in people taking notice of the serious view taken on indiscipline. There is yet a necessity to treat the causes that lead to behaviour of this nature. As commented in my column previously most of the problems arise due to action of officials that convey wrong meaning to spectators and players. There is a code of conduct circulated to all clubs and schools. What action can be taken in terms of the code against uncooperative officials? The report of the referee I understand has narrated comments made by players which are perceptions of referees on their performance during the concluded season.

These are obviously the result of being conditioned due to comments by responsible people. During the Clifford Cup Knock out stage the Army Coach made comments in the media that the referee was not suited for a particular match which they lost.

This is a violation of the code of conduct and would have attracted severe censure in other parts of the world. Similarly there were comments made by a school coach about a referee during the schools president’s trophy matches. Action being slow the repercussions is felt by the referees. The referee’s society should take note and follow up in the interest of the game which will ultimately suffer. There is hesitancy from most to referee and the few has to be given adequate comfort.


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