Dialog ‘A’ division league rugby tournament
The confrontation between Up Country Lions Sports Club who were placed fourth in last years league and a rejuvenated CR and FC outfit on November 16(Saturday) will be the pick of the first week’s matches in the Dialog A division league which kicks off on November 15(Friday).
Up Country Lions will be led by Scrum Half Srinath Sooriyabandara who had a marvellous sevens series in Malaysia, Bangkok and Mumbai and had a fine game against Poland in the last match of the Dialog Serendib Cup 2013.
Sri Lanka player Nigel Ratwatte too will once again turn out for Up Country Lions while two players who came off with flying colours in the Carlton International Sevens Kavindu Perera and Sashan Mohamed will also be playing once again for the Up Country Lions in addition to national players Jayantha Ranaweera, Niroshan Karunanayake and Zaffer Jahn.
Seven top schooboy ruggerites of this year Rochana Hettiarachchi and Buwaneka Udangawa(both from Dharmaraja), Charles Praveen and Mohamed Ali(both from St.Anthony’s), Randheer de Silva(Wesley), Chanuka Nalinda (Ananda) and Isipathana skipper Hirantha Perera have also joined the Nawalapitiya Club. The lads from Nawalapitiya fared creditably to finish fourth in the ‘A’ divison league in 2012 and were knocked out in the semi finals of the Clifford Cup tournament by Havelocks Sports Club by 32-33. This year they began the season in a glorious manner by clinching the rugby sevens title with a stunning 14 - 12 win over the formidable Havelock Sports Club and should be a force to be reckoned with.
CR and FC who had a disastrous season last year, finishing eighth out of nine teams will field a strong outfit this year with the return of former CR and FC and Sri Lanka skipper Dushanth Lewke , former Sri Lanka winger Vishwamithra Jayasinghe, ex-Sri Lanka flanker Kasun de Silva and Sri Lanka Full Back Reza Mubarak who had a grand tournament in the Dialog Serendib Cup contributing 28 points in two matches and was Sri Lanka’s hero in the last match against Poland with a personal tally of 16 points.
The Longden Place Club will be led by Sri Lanka prop forward Ishan Noor and have obtained the services of outstanding schoolboy ruggerites-Wesley trio of skipper and Scrum Half Rahul de Silva, Number Eight Gavin Siegertsz and Flanker Sithum Peiris, Peterite Number Eight Anuradha Herath and Royal skipper and Fly Half Rimzi Jamaldeen. Three top Samoan ruggerites including last year’s Havelocks Number Eight Aitui Nissan will also turn out for the Red shirts this year.
The Longden Place Club will be coached by Samoan Tavita Tulagaese better known as “Laga” under whose guidance Havelocks clinched the A division league title after 31 years in 2012 and a thrilling match is on the cards when these two teams clash on November 16 at Nawalapitiya.