Under normal circumstances, a match between two teams currently in the lower reaches of the points table will not evoke much interest. The match between Dharmaraja and St. Anthonys, though, is different. Today’s result (4th) in the match at Bogambara has wider implications.
Both teams have played two and lost two. The Rajans lost 30-15 at home to the Thomians while the Antonians lost 25-10 to the boys in blue and black.
The Antonians lost comprehensively to Science College but the sad part of that loss is the fact that they did over 60 per cent of the attacking. The Antonian ball handling was poor, while some players were tardy in coming up and tackling. Against the Thomians, the throwing in at the line-outs was crooked, and they were at times out-shoved by the heavy Thomian pack.
Damien Wijesuriya, a lock forward, leads the Katugastota school. Number Eight Neuman Dilan has represented Sri Lanka at under-18 level. Flanker Shemal Weerasekera, winger Chamuka Ranaraja (who is reputed to be very quick) and cricketer turned winger Nimesha Gunasinghe are some of the other key players.
Last year’s champions – the Rajans – are currently going through a difficult phase. Minus a lot of experienced players, the Rajans were thrashed 50-10 by Kingswood. Too many basic errors were committed while the players lacked finish. The Rajans would work their way to the half-line and then the move breaks down. They are guilty of not adhering to the game plan. Pasan Wijekoon, P. P. Nekathge and H. S. Adikari are three players who have impressed in the two games played so far.
With D. S. Senananayake seemingly destined for the wooden-spoon, the outcome of this game could have an important bearing on where the teams will finish. Expect a tough, no holds barred encounter in which the Rajans will strive to play more with the forwards whereas the Anthonians will endeavour to open out the game.
Indu Prasanth, Genibern Hendrick, Ravindu Muramudali, Damien Wijesuriya (Capt.), Mohamed Fazly, Shemal Weerasekera, Cruze Roniston, Neuman Dilan, Dulaj Jayatissa, Nimesha Gunasinghe, Thilan Jagoda, Palaniyappan Pradeep, Kobinath Dushyanth, Chanuka Ranaraja, Hasitha Kasturiarachchi.
Vihanga Nawalage (Capt.), D. E. Hiyarapitiya, Pasan Wijekoon, H. V. Karunatilleka, H. S. Adikari, S. M. A. Ranasinghe, M. J. Mettananda, D. C. Amararatne, B. K. J. Kumara, N. G. K. Hurigolla, I. M. Wimalasuriya, P. P. Nekathge, K. N. Kandupitiya, E. H. Edirimanne, V. D. M. Weerasekera.
Coaches: Theo Serafim (St. Anthony’s), Radhika Hettiarachi (Dharmaraja)