The Sunday Leader

Kandy Sports Club — This Season’s Favourite

By Hafiz Marikar

As the  inter school cricket season draws to a close and the last few overs are being bowled, there are those who are looking forward to a more vigorous game – rugby. Looking at the coming  rugby season, the top four teams  on  paper obviously will be Kandy Sports Club the defending triple champions  who have been dominating the rugby scene since  1992, followed by  CR & FC, Navy SC and CH & FC, the other  teams   who  are in the run are Army SC, Air Force SC, and Havelocks SC.

The king pin of Kandy rugby Malik Samarawickrema says Kandy SC would be a threat once again.  He said that the talented and experienced players  of the past season are playing this season too.  Packed with over 15 national players,   they go in to this year’s competition vastly over-rated but  every bit as good as the publicity they have been showered with.

They are the undisputed leaders of the League, Knockouts and the Sevens in the past several years.  And Malik’s contribution to Kandy Sports Club rugby has been immense.

Kandy Sports Club,  the glamour boys of the local rugby scene, will aim it high this season when they kick off in league games against one time kings of rugby, Havelocks SC on May 2 at Nittawela, followed by matches against  Police SC on  May 9 at Nittawela, on  May 16 vs Air Force  SC at Ratmalana, on May 23 vs Army SC in Colombo, on  May 30 vs CH & FC art Maitland Crescent, on June 6 vs Navy SC at Welisara and on June 13 vs CR & FC at Nittawela.

Kandy Sports Club has touched heights that no other team could have reached over the last two decades extending their number of wins in the League, Knockouts and Sevens.

There is however no guarantee that Kandy SC will win the  triple for there are times when the power of motivation takes a day off and this can be a decisive factor in their  claim for the triple  again.  Take for instance the mental stamina of the players. Can they put   the same herculean effort into every  game?  Will the same players be fit and strong as ever?  The  opposition, the weather and a million other things can change the chemistry of the game.  But still Kandy Sports Club is the best team on paper in the coming season.
Kandy Sports Club will be once again coached by South African Johan Taylor —this will be his third year.  Johan has given them the best of training. According to players, the training they got in South  Africa is going to help them in a big way.

Leading  the side this year is the country’s  best outside half, Fazil Marija, a player with lot of rugby in him, and he is backed by players like Sanjeewa Jayasinghe the fastest winger in the country, Pradeep Liyanage last year’s skipper, Mohamed Sheriff, Sameera  Silva,  Gayan Weeraratne,  Anuranga  Walpola, Dilip Selvan, M. Jabar, Chamara Vithanage,  Saliya Kumara,  Sean Wijesinghe,  Buddika Thalagampola,  Sashika Jayawardene,  Navinda Pullukutiarachchi,  Prasad Chaturanga,  Kusal Rankothge, Achala  Perera,  Kasun Yasaisuru, M. Rizwan,  Aravinda Udangamuwa, Kasun de Silva, Prasad Chaturanga, Roshan Weerathnege,  Darshana Ettipola and  Sajith Saranga.   There are 32 players at practices. Rugby Chairman Lasantha Wijesuriya, a crack center-three-quarter during his days, is happy over the team’s performance while Kapila Silva the team manager too is happy.

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