Air Force and Police excel at Rugby Sevens
An Air Force player is tackled by Kandy SCís Imran Bisthamin
while Kandy SCís Saliya Kumara and Air Forceís Pradeep
Kurukulasuriya rush into grab possession of the ball. An
incident in he Cup Championship final of the Dialog professional
Rugby Sevens between Kandy SC and Air Force played at Longdon
Place on Sunday. Picture by Thilak Perera
The Sri Lanka Air Force and Police Sports Club came up with superb
displays in the Dialog Professional Rugby Sevens concluded at Longden
Place on Sunday.
The Airmen under the leadership of former Sri Lanka Sevens Poolish
Suranga Arunashantha began their campaign with a stunning 22-10 win over
the strong Policemen and followed it up with a smashing 59-0 win over
Jawatte Lions and went down fighting by 12 points to 14 to Sri Lanka
Army in their final league game to finish on top of Group 'B' in Segment
In the quarter-finals the Airmen beat the formidable CH and FC by the
staggering margin of 24 points to 5 but their best performance came in
the semi-final against CR and FC in which they scored a sensational
19-12 win helped by three splendid tries by Siraj Niranga, Charith
Seneviratne and Radeesha Seneviratne.
In the final they contained the mighty Kandy SC to a 15-7 lead at the
breather before losing by 12 points to 41. It was only two years ago
that the Airmen entered a Cup Championship final when they went down
fighting to CR and FC by 29-36 in the second leg of the Singer
Professional Sevens played at Ratgama in the Galle District.
The man who has brought about this remarkable change in Air Force's
fortunes is Wazir Hafeel the former Thomian and CH and FC prop forward
who has taken great pains to mould them into a formidable outfit. The
Air Force 'Sevens' team comprised Suranga Arunashantha, Rohan Fernando,
Sirej Niranga, Chanaka Chandimal, Radeesha Seneviratne, Charith
Seneviratne, Nalin Sirisena and Pradeep Kurukulasuriya.
The Police Sports Club too gave a marvellous display to clinch the
The Policemen suffered a shock defeat in their very first match
against Air Force by 10-22 but came back storming to score two
resounding wins over Army (19-5) and Jawatte Lions (71-5) in their last
two league matches.
The Policemen scored a superb 17-5 win over Havelocks in the
quarter-finals of the Cup Championship before losing to Kandy SC (0-26)
in the semi-finals. But they came up with a stupendous performance in
the finals of the plate championship to score a stunning 14-7 win over
the formidable CR and FC helped by two splendid tries by Surath Randima
and Jeeven Amaradasa.
The Policemen were coached by former national Rugby Sevens Coach
Sudath Sampath and the team consisted of Harshana Wijeweera, Hasith
Nivanga, Chula Susantha, Jeevan Amaradasa, Surath Randima, Malith
Hettiarachchi and Gamini Indrachapa.
The performance at the Club Rugby Sevens augurs well for the future
of Air Force and Police Rugby and should inspire them to give of their
best in the Caltex 'A' Division League Rugby Tournament which begins in
the first week of May.