It’s Bradby time once more in the country. All crowds will be making their way towards the Royal Sports Complex today when the home team who hold a 17 points advantage take on their traditional rivals, Trinity in the 2nd leg of the 75th Bradby Shield encounter.
Royal is led by Thulaib Hassen while Trinity outfit by Reshan Bandaranayake.
Kick-off is scheduled at 4 p.m. with Royal 1982 skipper, Ted Muttiah being the Chief Guest at the occasion.
Many forget the coaching staff who do a yeoman service for the school rugby teams and never been spoken of. They are the architects in drilling the winning out over a number of years starting from 1945 when the First Bradby Shield encounter commenced.
Trinity was coached by P.A. Buljens (1940s), Harry Hardy Bertie Dias and Dr. K.B. Sangakkara (1950s), M.H. Christoffelsz, Hilary Abeyratne, Late Lt. General Denzil Kobbekaduwa and Percy Madugalle (1960s)
In 1970s it was Percy Madugalle, Bertie Dias, Dharmasiri Madugallle, M. Perera and Irwin Howie did the coaching job followed by Irwin Howie, Bertie Dias and Late Alex Lazarus in 1980s. Arguably the best side in Trinity rugby history was produced by the rock solid coach, Alex who produced an unbeaten Trinity side led by Tyrelle Rajapakse who went on to win the league plus then Premadasa knock out rugby. Only once for the whole season their line was crossed in the season.
In 1990s too Alex was part of the coaching unit along with Ashan Ratwatte, Devapriya Perera, Quentin Isreal, Lohan Ratwatte and Janaka Kiridena.
In 2000s it was Ikram Odayar, Nigel Krone, Anil Jayasinghe, Pradeep Basnayake, Geoffrey Garland, Stephen Jones, Neil Footie, Eric Miller, Sean Wijesinghe, Hemantha Yatawara, Lote Raikabulla, Rodeny So’aolo and Inthi Marikar.
Royal too was blessed with some top class coaching staff to guide them. They had top knowledge men such as B.C. Anghie, C.O. Foenander, S.G.D. Soysa, R.E. Blaze, Mahesh Rodrigo, N.W. Wijesinghe, Summa Navaratnam, E.D. Waldock, G.C. Weinman, W. Unamboowa, U.L. Kaluarachchi, C.J. Fernando, Udaaka Tenekoon, Dr. Fred Perera, C.P. Abeygunawardena, Dr. Maiya Gunasekera, Brian Baptist, Tavita Tulagase (Laga-Samoa), Theo Sefiram, Sanath Martis and Dushantha Lewke are few of them who had done a grand job for the Reid Avenue school.
Summa Navaratnam, Malik Samarawickrema and C.P. Abeygoonawardena coached the Royal outfit where they won the Bradby Shield for nine years in their term of 10. Mahesh Rodrigo is one of their best coaching staff having huge success for the Colombo school. (SJ)