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

Schools rugby quagmire deepens

By Harry Jayachandra

The schools rugby scene continues to be in a quagmire with more battles being fought off the field than on it. Though the season is just into its fourth week controversy has raised her ugly head. As is the norm all the problems are with Division One teams.

Secretary : Rohitha Indunil …SLSRA in a real fix now

Kingswood faces a disciplinary hearing tomorrow by the SLSRA following complaints made by both Royal and S. Thomas’. One player was shown a red card by the referee in the final of the school’s sevens tournament that preceded the Singer league tournament. A ‘red’ card means that the player concerned cannot play in the following three competitive games. Despite not playing in the Kingswood’s first outing against Isipatana, the player in question proceeded to represent his school in the next two games which happened to be against the schools that have lodged the protest. Kingswood’s principal was not available for comment.

The Schools Rugby Association has a bigger issue to face tomorrow. Earlier this year the association was handed down an enjoining order preventing them from demoting Isipatana to the second division. This came about as a result of Royal officials claiming that Isipatana fielded a player who was ineligible in their fixture last year. However, early last week the association received an enjoining order that prevents them from letting Isipatana from playing in the top division. Both orders were made by the district court of Colombo. This is the reason that Isipatana was not allowed to play their league match against S. Thomas’ yesterday.

“We are going to Court to get the position clarified as we do not know how to proceed. We are also having a meeting with all the schools to discuss any and all problems that they have and how best to proceed with the league. For example Ananda’s first match against Kingswood was postponed. Then yesterday they were scheduled to play Trinity, but said they could not because they had too many injuries. Trinity pointed out is that this was not a valid excuse. If they had injuries they should have at least fielded a second string team, Trinity said". Following the meeting we will also be having the prize giving that was postponed from last year As for Kingswood, we have received two letters of protest from Royal and S. Thomas’, said Secretary of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association Rohitha Indunil.

The Principal of Isipatana was not available for comment, but The Sunday Times spoke to the Principal of Royal College Upali Gunasekera. He said: “As for Isipatana the complaint was made by another party. With regard to Kingswood, before the match even started I handed over a letter signed by me with the College frank to the Kingswood officials and to the schools association. However, Kingswood chose to ignore my letter and fielded the player who had been given a ‘red’ card. I just hope that justice will be done.”, he said.

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Copyright 2007 Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.Colombo. Sri Lanka.