Kandy Sports Club reign supreme
Kandy Sports Club reigned supreme in the Caltex 'A' Division League
Rugby Tournament clinching the title for the ninth successive year and
the 13th time since they first won it in 1994.
With a powerful set of forwards and a superb set of three quarters
the lads from Kandy won 10 matches out of 11 with a solitary defeat at
the hands of the gallant Navy.
They began the season with two impressive wins over Navy (36-5) and
Air Force (27-6) and in their third outing came back storming to beat
Army 30-9 after being led 6-3 at the breather.
In their fourth match they overcame the formidable CH and FC by 30-3
after being contained to a 5-3 lead at 'lemons'.
They turned in a dazzling display of open rugby in their next two
games to score runaway victories over Police (67-16) and Havelocks
(73-12) in their next two outings before overcoming arch rivals CR and
FC (22-17) in the last game of the first round.
Kandy SC scored two smashing wins over Air Force (34-11) and CH and
FC (31-10) in the second round before suffering a shock defeat by 11-12
at the hands of the gallant Navy outfit but made amends for it by
beating the strong Army team by 42 points to 11.
Kandy had a powerful set of forwards spearheaded by No. 8 Sajith
Saranga who was a source of inspiration to his team-mates with his fiery
loose play and was ably supported by flankers Dilip Selvam and Sean
Wijesinghe, lock forwards Senaka Bandara and Zaffer Jahn, prop forwards
Kishore Jehan and Eranga Swarnathilleke and hooker Aravinda Udangawa as
the Kandy 'Eight' outplayed their coutnerparts in the loose.
They also won plenty of good ball from the set scrums and line outs
through the slick hooking of Aravinda Udangawa and the excellent line
out jumping of Senaka Bandara, Jahn and Saranga.
The Sri Lanka halves combination of Saliya Kumara and Fazil Marija
hit it off smoothly.
Marija who had an excellent season foxed the opponents defence with
his daring runs while centres skipper Pradeep Liyanage and Gayan
Weeraratne with their side-stepping and speed pierced the opponents
defence time and again while winger Sanjeewa Jayasinghe posed the
biggest threat to the opponents with his powerful runs down the flank
scoring more than 15 tries while strongly built Radhika Hettiarachchi
often joined the line to form the overlap in addition to being a tower
of strength in the last line of defence with his safe collections and
booming kick to touch.
Kandy SC first won the League Title in 1994 under the leadership of
Indrajith Bandaranayake and retained it in 1995, After surrendering it
to CR in 1996 the lads from Kandy regained it in 1997 captained by
Lasantha Wijesuriya and wrested back the shield from CR in 1999 led by
Harris Omar after the Red Shirts won it in 1998.
In the year 2000 CH bagged the League Title before Kandy SC regained
it in 2001 under the captaincy of Nalaka Weerakkody.