Pathana in stylish win

Tuesday, 5 June 2012 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Based on the previous display of Science, I had indicated that the Pathana/Science game would be close with an indication of a slight supremacy by Pathana. Last Friday Pathana played their hearts out and virtually ran circles round Science.

From the outset the game plan of Pathana was clear and that was to run the ball wide at every given opportunity. In fact Pathana could have scored more had they handled the restarts well.

On a number of occasions the ball was lost and had to be subsequently won before they made their one of many raids into the opposition half. In attack I thought that the Pathana three quarters were not lining deep enough so as to collect the ball at pace. In most instances it was from a rather pedestrian start.

Science obviously had a bad day in the office and their ball handling skills were abysmal. Once again they resorted to their star centre sporting the # 13 jersey to languish at the back as if he was required to be the second full back.

Thus the Pathana lads found many a loophole in the defence and capitalised on the same with the Science centre being limited to undertaking damage control. You cannot win many games with that sort of tactic and frame of mind.

Once again the crowds were noisy, boisterous and appeared ill informed on the rules of the game. Referee Cader came in for some serious stick, some of it was justified whilst a major portion was exaggerated.

In a previous column I had indicated the use of the advantage law and this time too it was evident that what constitutes an advantage was not grasped by the man with the whistle. I am advised that he had officiated in a match in Kandy and had to be provided with an escort – no, not to visit the nightclubs, but it was for his own safety.

The Petes had a miraculous escape in Kandy at the hands of SACK and going by reports it was a last ditch effort that saw them retain their unbeaten status. If they are to remain so, they need to up the ante and play good quality rugby for eighty minutes flat and not parts thereof.

Royal too had a scare over the weekend and both these teams will meet next weekend and the winner would in all probability take on the mantle of league winners. However Trinity cannot be totally ruled out, given their strong performance in the last few games.

It appears as if there is a commentator’s curse and as soon as I had extolled the virtues of the Joes, they played some sloppy rugby to lose to Trinity. It was the only game I believe that the Joes have failed to get points on the board.  

The second leg of the Carlton Super Sevens was held at the Police Park and despite my initial inhibitions in respect of adequate parking, the men in khaki did a good job. The entrance to the various stands was in a bit of chaos, and after being given a load of incorrect directions I finally made it to the hallowed seat, only to be quite rudely asked by one of the stewards of my credentials to actually be there.

My mind went back to the haunting lyrics, ‘Blue waters, shining eyes, Sri Lanka paradise’. Obviously the current folks in charge of hospitality had missed a trick or two and I quietly hummed ‘No seats, no smiles Sri Lanka’s paralysed’.

The rugby was of a high standard, and the locals as well as the expatriates had upped their game by a notch or two. The retention of the ball and making it available to the supporting team mates as well as the sudden change of pace and direction all added to the spice and thrills of the occasion. It was great to see the heavy weights of international sevens rugby being right there in front of you and the local lads would have benefitted immensely from this interaction. For such a magnificent event, I thought that the crowds were poor, and except for a few isolated pockets of team sponsors, the quality rugby was wasted on a lack of a quality audience. As usual there was nonstop music courtesy of the papare bands in attendance and despite the searing heat and unbearable humidity, their enthusiasm for the job on hand as well as by those on the pitch were sky high. Well done to all those who were instrumental in putting this magnificent event together.

(The writer can be reached via [email protected])

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