ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Vol. 41 - No 52

As the season progresses

Many questions have arisen on the present school’s rugby season - Pic by Saman Kariyawasam

Spoken in whispered tones and awaiting the outcome of judgments preoccupies the Schools Rugby Football Association. News is of an interested party seeking an injunction against the continuation of a team l in schools rugby calendar. The final outcome of issues that concern eligibility is far from settled. The scrum moves from the familiar rugby grounds to the entrance of the institutions of law. The issues it was thought has reached settlement. It was hoped with the development of the season time would solve problems or at least pacify the injured. The controversy and disputes seem to cling on to this year’s schools rugby season. The game that takes pride in the value it adds to the character of the individuals who take part is now faced with disruption. It now seems that issues of prestige and the ego of individuals are taking centre stage. When faced with such situations issues will not sort themselves out. The possibility now lying ahead is: for build up of animosity. This will not be useful to a game that talks of the spirit and rugby as a sport for all is getting lost in the jungle with pride and effects of ego becoming more important. With the scrum down shifting from familiar rugby grounds to the legal portals, a development is that the schools section has to spend more money on defending themselves than using what is left for the game. There will be a winner to the issues on the short term. On the long run the sour taste will continue with strained relationships.

While the schools season is thus proceeding, the interest in the game is still there. The spectators and the players carry on to enjoy themselves and the club season too provides the rugby the opportunities it has been waiting for. The crowds however find it difficult as they are confronted with choice. With more than five schools fixtures played on a Saturday together with club matches the crowds are divided. They are also deprived of the chance to watch what could be a better game. It seems everybody wants to play on Saturday. This has been a topic of discussion in the past. It would have been thought that with the experience the spread of the games would have taken place. The issue has got more complicated.

In the matches played during the first week of the club season there was more ball in play than previously. Particularly in the game where CR played the Army the number of stoppages were very much low. The continuation of action on the field gives the spectator more to enjoy. With the heat and the humidity the more the ball in play, meant that it was adding pressure to the players. CR with its superior display outplayed the Army on this day. Yet the Army could be proud of its achievement on the field. There were less silly mistakes and the Army players seemed to understand the laws of the game. This resulted in the Army team giving away fewer penalties in the tackle as well as ruck and maul situation, compared to the past. What appeared to be a breaking point to the Army was the adaptation to the new playing conditions with more balls in play. The players were no doubt physically fit. What needs to be addressed in this situation is to make the physically fit more match fit.

The Police team which enjoyed in the highest of places in the local rugby season in the past showed they are capable of bouncing back this year. In a game that could have gone either way the Police held on to beat the Havelock Sports Club at Havelock Park. The score may have been different and may have gone either way. The Police were unlucky on one occasion with the winger having a clear passage grounding the ball on the five meter line. With nobody to beat and the try line staring ahead the player misjudges and planted the ball just pass the five meter. Was it a case of being overwhelmed at the possibility of tasting victory that has eluded the Police in the recent past? The team that has a mix of experience and fresh legs will certainly do well. The game could have gone either way if only Havelock’s opted to take some of the penalties that came their way. Most of these penalties were within kicking distance and some virtually in front of the post.

Kandy in the meantime had a feast of point scoring in their match against the Old Zahirians. The CH managed to beat the Air Force who once again was an unlucky side. Going over the try line and unable to ground the ball to pile up the points.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.