August 31, 2015
Sp. Sports Correspondent
The success of mighty Kandy SC in local rugby has spawned a multitude of talented players in schools in and around Kandy. This is best exemplified by the fact that three schools St. Anthony’s, Trinity and Dharmaraja carried away the Cup, Plate and Bowl titles at the recent All-Island Under 16 twelve-a-side tournament.
This tournament, organised by the SLSRFA, and sponsored by Nestle Lanka Ltd. was worked off at the Trinity Rugby Complex at Pallekele and at Bogambara. All matches on day two were played at Bogambara.
St. Anthony’s, the cup winners were led by Theeksha Gunasinghe. They were impressive throughout, beating Nugawela (64-0), Vidyartha (22-5), St. Joseph’s (26-0) and Isipathana (14-0). They were involved in close encounters against Trinity (3-0) and, in the final, against Science College, a game they won 7-5.
Kavishka Jayasuriya was the main try-scorer for the winners. Lashan Mahindaratne went over for a fantastic try after covering about 70 yards.
The Anthonians were represented by Theeksha Gunasinghe (Capt) Mohamed Makarin, Damian Tennekoon, Lashan Mahindaratne, Suhail Waseem, Ruwan Amerasinghe, Sashika Wijewardena, Kavishka Jayasuriya, Tirusha Ekanayake, Niranga Ranaweera, Sachchintha Dissanaike, Roshan Sevaraj, Madhawa Fernando, Avishka Kurukulasuriya and Isuru Ariyapala.
(Coach, Deepal Punyawardena)
Trinity who lost a close game to their rivals from Katugastota won the Plate segment Wesley ran them close (5-3) in the semifinals. However, they recovered their poise to beat Kingswood convincingly in the final (24-0). Earlier they had beaten, Piliyandala Central (34-0), Ananda (43-0) and St. Thomas’ Prep (39-0).
Trinity was led by Warren Weerakoon. The others in the squad were Amit Kulatunga, Niranjan Witharana, Madi Abdullah, Avishka Edirisinghe, Roshan Bandaranaike, Danindu Herath, SSW Prakath, Kasun Pathiraja, Kanishka Navaratne, Piyumal Bandara, Miranga Subasinghe, Danindu Ratnayake and Brad Munaweera.
(Coach – Sanjay Amunugama)
Dharmaraja beat DS Senanayake (12-5) in the final to annex the Bowl. They also beat Maliyadeva (24-0), St. Benedict’s (20-0) and Zahira 12-0 in the Semi-final. But the Rajans were unable to overcome the challenge of Kingswood who held them to a scoreless draw. Dharmaraja had their line crossed only in the final.
Oshadha Kalupana skippered the Rajans. Manuka Hiyarapitiya, Dieeshaka Kulatunga, Tharindu Kapuwatte, Dulanja Kumara, Malintha Rajapaksa, Supun Wijesiri, Chaminda Abeyratne, Samuditha Ratnayake, Visal Udangamuwe, Sajeeva Gamage, Kavinda Jayawardena, Jude Ranaweerasinghe and Samith Ekanayake formed the squad. (Coach – Nimal Wijesiri)
Sanjay Amunugama, one of the best and senior most coaches in Kandy, was critical of the format of the tournament. Twelve-a-side is meaningless, he says. It’s neighter fish flesh nor fowl. It should be either 15 or 7. He favours the latter for the simple reason that Sri Lanka’s best chances at International level lie in the sevens game.
He makes the point that the time allocated (seven minutes a half) is wholly insufficient. Given the fact that a line out or a scrum will take a minute each, what then is left for open play?