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Saturday, 11 August 2012






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Dialog Rugby League second round kicks off

The Dialog Rugby League tournament 2012 first round matches have been completed and the standings currently are (1), Havelock SC (2) and Navy SC (3). Kandy SC with new comers Up-Country Lions SC at no. 4.

In round two, the first four teams will play against each other to determine the Dialog Rugby League Champions for 2012.

The rest of the teams, Army SC, Police SC, CR and FC, Air Force SC and CH and FC will play in the plate tournament.

Havelock SC - who are enjoying the table leader's spot after 31 long years, at the end of the first round are under the watch full eyes of Tulagase Tavitala (Laga) who has a reputed track record as a number one rugby coach. Since taking over Havelock's he has groomed the players into a well balanced side winning seven out of eight, but lost their game against the defending champions Kandy Sports Club.

The Park club forwards are a well built and little on the heavy a side compared to the other clubs, besides they are fast as well. There halves combination should make use of the good ball; their forwards win and turn their fast moving three-quarters to score tries.

Today they will host Up-Country Lions where they will be hoping to give of their best. Kapila Wijarthne a rugby committee member and former secretary, says, they have a long and proud rugby history.

Navy S C - Sri Lanka Navy Rugby Captain - Yoshitha Rajapaksa says that his team is ready to face this tournament with confidence and make it a winning one. He is all out to lead the side to perform better in this second round. Sri Lanka Navy Sports Board Director and Rugby Football Chairman, Commodore J.D.Amaranyake is happy with his team's performance. The coach Ronnie Ibrahim, who is in the job for the fourth year, with skipper Yositha Rajapaksa, has a very exciting side and have some of the top players. This team is virtually the National team which represented the 5 Nations ARFU tournament early this year, where about eight of the Sailors played.

They have won seven games this season except for that defeat at the hands of Havelock SC. They have a wealth of talent in their forwards spearheaded by skipper Yositha Rajapaksa, and the rest of the forwards are Namal Rajapaksa, Sumedha Malawena, Bilal Hassan to name a few, Their back division too comprises some exciting players of the caliber of Suranga Pushpakuamra, Dev Anand, Kosla Tissera, Stefano Cakau and Ratu Tamniela Rawaa. Ronnie says he believes that his side's remarkable performance, will aid them.

Kandy Sports Club

Talent and experience have been an interesting feature in Kandy Sports Club's rugby during the recent past. It will not be different this season too.

In the last game, Kandy SC failed to play as a team. It was Fazil Marija who played his normal game together with Roshan Weerarthne. On Sunday they will be hosting the Sailors.

Kandy Sports Club once again is coached by Johan Taylor; a master tactician. Unfortunately there are a few injuries to key players. The home ground of the club at Nittawela is looking in good shape. The training equipment is also available within the premises with an ultra Modernized Gymnasium with access to the grounds.

Malik Samarawickrema the God father of Kandy's rugger said: 'if our players think about their own game - and if they play their own game in their own style, they will be able to win. For which, much will be expected from Rohan Weerarthne, Fazil Marija, skipper Saliya Kumara, Pradeep Liyanage, Sean Wijasinghe, Achala Perera, Senka Bandara, Gayan Weerathne andPrasad Chaturanga should be at their best.

Up-Country Lions - new comers to rugby, have been put through the paces by their coach Imthi Marikar, a good coach who learnt his rugby in Kandy and also led the Kandy SC. In this year's Dialog Rugby League this club has been placed fourth after a shaky start. The only setback is that rugby at Nawalapitiya has just started and have been boosted with a well prepared and equipped rugby grounds with the initiative of the Sports Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage.

Army SC - Have faired well this season, despite constrains. Won three games out of eight and are tipped to do well in the second round

Police SC, led by Upul Kumara, have won four games out of eight, and every one expected the Cops to be among the first four.

Air Force SC - After a complete turn around and where most of the players and the Coach leaving the team, the performance of the team has suffered a setback this year, but have shown good prospects in some of the games with no foreign players. The authorities may have to reorganize the rugby trend for 2013 to be in the lime light once again, with more involvement with the higher ranking officers in the Air Force. They lie in the 8th position above CH & FC with one win.

CH and FC - One of the premier rugby clubs in the past sadly they are way down at the bottom of the League table having lost all eight matches this season. The rugby that Maitland Crescent club played in the first round was not in keeping with the rugby they played in the past. This team played exceptionally well against the defending champions

Kandy Sports Club in the first round game with a score of 13 points to 18 points.

Even in the game against Havelock's they played well in the first 25 minutes with no scoring but later went down.

How they must be yearning for a rugby promoter and benefactor of the calibre of Kishin Butani who helped them win many a trophy in the past.



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