Tuesday, 28 January 2014 00:10
The Havies were playing their third game in about 10 days and that was bound to have an impact. Whilst it could be argued that they fielded a hybrid side for the midweek game against the Sharks there was no argument that at least seven regulars were in the midweek side.
In the first round the margin of victory was small for the defending champions and the return game was no exception. CR is having a welcome resurgence in the rugby circuit after a rather lacklustre performance last season. They are playing with a lot of self belief and purpose.
Two of last yearâ€™s Havies stalwarts in Laga the coach and playmaker Nissan are with the red shirts this season and their influence on the rest of the team is quite visible. The quality of rugby was brilliant at times and in other instances simple errors spoilt what would have been a great move. Right through the game it was evident that the team that held its nerve would emerge victorious.
The passing of Havies let them down on many occasions when there were tries on offer. Wild, wayward and overenthusiastic passes made the job more difficult than it should have. In praise of CR they were in the game right through with the correct attitude and were great spoilers and looked for the slightest opportunity to score.
At breakdowns CR managed several times to get turnover ball but failed to capitalize on these occasions. Whilst CRâ€™s regular skipper is back his influence on the team was low, maybe he is yet to fully recover fully from the early season injury.
Jamaldeen with the whistle once again added a breath of fresh air that streaked across the ground during the game. He handled the game in a mature manner and was by far consistent in his decision making. He let the game flow by playing the right amount of advantage and we can only hope that the other referees follow suit in the games to come.
For a CR/Havies clash the crowds were not adequate unless some of them decided to watch the Australian Tennis open which was on at that time. The nature of the game is such these days, that you see very few die hard club supporters at a game as opposed to in the past. I am not sure whether cash in the game has contributed to this as their rugby heroes now switch clubs as often as they change their underwear.
Whatever the reason may be, the club rugby following has taken a hit in the number of spectators and one sees a full house only in key games when the top four teams are in action. The fact that a bulk of the games is also being streamed on the internet could be a contributory factor.
In another game Kandy was back to winning ways after the slight blip against the Havies earlier. The change in the coach has had the desired effect it appears and one hopes that Kandy fires on all cylinders going forward. Navy too had a good outing and as one sees the number of points scored it appears that both sides have been on an all out attack mode with little thought behind defence.
(The writer can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.)