Army and Havies ruggerites excel at Club Rugby Sevens
The Sri Lanka Army came up with a stupendous performance in the
Dialog Professional Rugby Sevens played at Bogambara Stadium to enter
the finals before losing to mighty Kandy Sports Club.
The soldiers under the guidance of their new coach F. B. Stave began
their campaign with a smashing 47-0 win over Petersons and then scored a
sensational 19-14 win over the formidable CH and FC.
In the quarter-finals of the Cup Championship they scored a runaway
70-0 win over Jawatte Lions and beat Air Force by 15-12 in the
semi-finals to storm into the finals before surrendering meekly to Kandy
SC (7-55) in the finals.
Scrum half Saliya Handapangoda and hooker Duminda Wickremaratne were
the most impressive of the Army players and were ably supported by
Veteran Kapila Knowlton, Lankatilleke, Perakum Fernando, Maurice
Abeyratne and Sri Lanka Sevens player Asanka Perera as the soldiers gave
of their best to the delight of their supporters.
The Army team this year is a blend of youth and experience and their
aim this year is to finish within the first three in the Caltex 'A'
The soldiers went down fighting to the formidable CR and FC (20-24)
in the quarter-finals of the President's Trophy having finished fifth in
the 'A' Division League including three smashing wins over Police, Air
Force and Old Zahirians in the league tournament.
The soldiers have a powerful set of forwards in Nushal Meepage, Asoka
Jayalal, Asela Palihena, Ajith Pushpakumara, R. M. G. Ratnayake,
Nishantha Kobbekaduwa, Asoka Jayasena and No. 8 Manoj Silva. The vastly
improved Tharindu Darshana will once again operate from the base of the
scrum and will pair off with the promising Upul Kumara.
Two hard runners and solid tacklers Asanka Perera and Suranga
Pilimatalawa will be the two centres while the wings will be manned by
two powerful runners Duminda Wickramaratne and young Saliya Handapangoda
with veteran Kapila Knowlton likely to once again man the last line of
Havelocks Sports Club too came up with a fine performance.
They scored two smashing wins over Kurunegala RFC (42-5) and Air
Force (26-7) on the first day. The lads from Havelock Town scored a
stunning 15-12 win over arch rivals CR and FC in the quarter-finals and
went down fighting to mighty Kandy SC (14-29) in the semi-finals.
Youngsters Samantha Lakshan, Ruchira Ratnage, Dilip Methruwan and
Veteran Ruwan Suranga played a key role in the success of Havelocks who
are determined to recapture their past glory in the forthcoming rugby
Led by former Trinity and Sri Lanka second row forward Kavinda
Jayasena the Park Club has been bolstered by the presence of two Sri
Lanka Youth Players - prop forward Andrew Jegan from Wesley and full
back A. N. Hettiarachchi from Dharmaraja.
Three top players from the Champion Peterite team of last year -
skipper Ranuka Jayasinghe and Sri Lanka under 20 players - Thilina
Bulner and Irfath Meedin too have joined the park club and are likely to
don the pink and chocolate jersey in the 2008 league tournament.