After almost a decade the Havies dished out some quality rugby on Saturday at Havelock Park. Pitted against one of the top two club sides in local rugby they gave a good account of themselves.
The SLRFU rule that club sides in the bottom half of the league being able to field expatriate players appears to have had a positive effect thus far. Havies had the services of two expatriate players courtesy of a Samoan and a Tongan.
The vital berth of Number 8 was filled with one of them, whilst the other sported the number 12 jersey. The final score in favour of Kandy was a mere five points and someone in the crowd remarked, it Havies game to either win or lose and they chose to do the latter.
The Havies played their hearts out no doubt enthused by the influx of the ‘new team mates’. At least five clear scoring opportunities went a begging due to a combination of poor handling, lack of coordination and poor body position close to the goal line.
I am amazed that some basics are being forgotten in such instances. My mind goes back to the first leg of the Bradby, where a Trinity player was on the verge of scoring, before a brilliant cover tackle by the Royalists snuffed out the scoring opportunity. Once again he was almost over the try line but was still upright and a bone crushing tackle saw the ball being spilt forward.
Take a look at the Aussies and the Kiwis for an example… they dive into the goal area thereby snuffing the ability of the opposition to disrupt the scoring opportunity. The local coaches and their support staff need to look at this vital aspect as the final seconds of a well planned move decides between glory and defeat.
The stand out player for Kandy, missing a number of their regulars, was their towering man in the Number 8 jersey. He was brilliant in attack as well as in defence. He appears to have an uncluttered mind and is very decisive with ball in hand.