Antonian ruggerites gearing up for rugby season | Daily News

Antonian ruggerites gearing up for rugby season

St. Anthony’s College are hard at rugby training, there are over thirty players at fitness and ball handling training, they are in the Segment “A” Group I and are led by Jeyan Amerasinghe will play Royal College on June 24 in the first match followed by matches against Trinity College 1st July, St. Josephs College 7th, Kingswood College 14th and S. Thomas” College 22nd.

This time too they are being coached by Sumedha Malawana former Vidyartha College,Navy SC and Sri Lanka player; he is an experienced coach and a knowledgeable man in the rugby field. He learnt his rugger at Vidyartha College, and played in 1986 and in 1998 was his best school year. Later went on to represent the Havelock SC from there he joined Navy in 2000 and played nearly fifteen years.He also guided Navy as an assistant coach, his old school Vidyartha College and helped them to win against, Ananda College and D. S. Senanayake. He is coachingAntonians from 2019 to date and sure to give his best to come out with a talented side. The forwards coach is Asitha Rathnayake former Maliyadeva College,St.Peter’s College and Kandy SC player. The backs coach is Pavithra de Silva a product of St. Anthony’s College. Aruna Ranasighe Trainieer, GunasekaraArachige MIC, Wasantha Gunasekara

The squad is made out of players like Jeyan Anarasinghe (Captain) S.D. KavishkaMasushan, M. Rahuman, S.V. Athuykorala, Y.R. Gamage, R.Pilley, S.N. Kothalawala, M.J.M. Zaky, W.M.C.O. Gunarthne, D.L.S.A Keethisiri, M.Tyron, M. Rishard, T.A. Sellapperoma, W.M.R.A.B. Welegedera, H.M.s. Perera, J.Relano, M.Usman, M. Abdullah, D.M.O.R. Dissanayake, R.P. Gregory, A.M.K.a.I.Munasinghe, Y.RPerera, L.D.D.T. Liyanage, W.A.A.H. Jayawansa, T.H.B. Nishaam,A. Rajith, M.s.T.K. Rodrigo, H.c. Emanuel, K. Lakmina, S.M.P.D. uriyabandara,

St.Anthony’s College, Katugastota has produced some top rugger players, from the day they took up the game of rugby. They took to rugby long after they played sports like cricket, boxing hockey, football and athletics.Only in the ‘1950’s they took an interest in the game of rugby with Bruce Winter as the first captain. The side was coached first by famous Trinity College product Bobby Jayaweera who did his best and later Maurice Perera helped in coaching. It was only in 1962 that the Antonians were able to play against the first XV teams. In fact,that was the first time they played Trinity, Royal and S. Thomas’s senior teams. The results of the matches played that year were – Lost to Royal 0-17,Lost to St. Thomas’ 0-9,Lost to St. Peter’s 3-6, Lost to Trinity 3-14, Lost to Zahira 0-30, defeated Thurstan 11-8, defeated St. Joseph’s 14-8. In their first year of Inter School Competition three Antonians Gavin Stevens, Andre Titus and Charlie Joseph were chosen to represent outstation schools against Colombo schools. In the same season, Andre Titus was picked for the combined schools team, Graduating to 1st xv rugby in 1962 the team was led by Win ChuWei. The rest of the players were Kenny Duff-Tytler, brothers Upali and Ranjith Fernando, Winston Vanderpooten, Chris Duff-Tytler, Barney Daniel, brothers Charlie and Michael Joseph, Franklyn Paul, Spencer Dias, Tutu Thenuwara,Christy Gomez, lan Fernando, Freddie Baptist. Then in 1963 and 1964 Antonians did well in rugby under Ranjith Fernando and Saliya Kulatunge. Both were selected to play for the Outstation Schools’ Team against the Colombo Schools’ The1965 and 1966 teams, led by Michael Macky and Patrick Gunaratne respectively, did not fare well, but maintained a high standard of rugby. The 1967 team captained by Basil Hyde, won only one game and lost the other eight.

Four members of this 1967 team namely Basil Hyde, Malcolm Dias, H.M. Kuthdoos and Randy Sims, won their rugby colours for their outstanding performances during the season. In 1968 they showed real maturity when, for the first time, the team led by H.M. Kuthdoos held the much fancied Trinitians to a 3 all draw at Peradeniya in a block-buster game. During that season St Anthony’s won six matches and the team enjoyed one of the finest years in rugby.

After quite a long wait, the Antonian rugby team enjoyed one of the finest years in rugby, in 1972 when for the first time the Antonians were able to beat Trinity College 13 – 7 in a nail-biting finish. That year the Antonain’s were coached by the famous Havelock SC,Kandy Lake Club and Sri Lanka Centre three quarter Maurice de Silva. This side was led by Tuan Dole. They won seven games against, St.Joseph’s, St. Benedict’s, Kingswood, S. Thomas,Thurstan and Trinity, and drew with St. Peter’s and lost to Royal 15 -23 -. The next best rugby season was in 1988,under the captaincy of Leroy Fonseka when they,emerged runners-up to Royal in the schools rugby League Championship.Antonians remained unbeaten, winning nine out of ten matches and drawing the other. Leroy Fonseka had the rare distinction of representing the country as a schoolboy at the 11th Rugby Asiad in Hong Kong. In 2001, they won the “Milo” under19 League championship led by Tikiri Dissanayake. beating Isipathana by 10 -7 in the decider Out of all the Antonian Ruggerites Priyantha Ekanayake stands tall and above all being the first Antonian to captain the Sri Lanka Rugby Team, and that too for a record ten consecutive years including four consecutive Asiads a record yet to be broken.

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