Asian Games rugby to kick off today

Tuesday, 30 September 2014 00:34 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Sri Lanka Sevens rugby team, led by Fazil Marija, will kick off the 17th Asian Rugby Sevens today in Incheon, South Korea. Sri Lanka will lock horns with Taipei today. On the second day Sri Lanka will battle it out with India and South Korea in their group encounters. October 2 will see the ranking and medal encounters between the top teams. So far the national Sevens team has never won a medal for rugby. Sri Lanka will miss the services of Head Coach Setefano Cakau who is away in Fiji where he will represent the national Sevens team at the IRB World Series tournament which will kick off in Australia’s Gold Coast. Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) President Asanga Seneviratne will fill in the head coach vacancy and will get support from Rohan Chinthaka who will be the manager on tour. Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea will be the three strongest contestants for the medal but are sure to get some stiff opposition from Sri Lanka who were placed fourth on the Asian Sevens Series in Hong Kong and Malaysia. Hosts South Korea is the team which has improved tremendously this year. Sri Lanka squad: Fazil Marija (Captain), Srinath Sooriyabandara, Gayan Weeraratne, Shehan Pathirana, Nigel Ratwatte, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri, Dinusha Chathuranga, Danuska Ranjan, Anuruddha Wilwara, Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Lavanga Perera and Mithun Hapugoda. Head Coach: Asanga Seneviratne Manager: Rohan Chinthaka
 Sri Lanka secure second spot at JWRT Sri Lanka Under 20 rugby team, captained by Tarinda Ratwatte, secured second position in the Asian zone of the Junior World Rugby Tournament (JWRT), which concluded at the Race Course rugby grounds last week. Sri Lanka, who were edged out by South Korea later on with a second half burst, were beaten by tournament champions Hong Kong. But the young lads bounced back gallantly not only to beat Taipei but also to secure a bonus point to obtain the number two slot and remain in the top division for next year as well. Overall the tournament saw some champagne rugby from the Lankan youngsters, particularly Ratwatte and Omalka Gunaratne. Omalka can play for one more year for Isipathana and is likely to lead the Green Shirts next year. He was a class act in defence as well in attack. Ratwatte was an outstanding leader. He led the team by example and never cracked under pressure. In December 2014 the Sri Lanka Youth team will participate at the Under 20 Asian Sevens Tournament, which will be worked off in Hong Kong on 13 and 14 December. Tarinda said: “It was an overall effort. The team was excellent and supported me all the way. We all clicked very well in a short period of time. Our Head Coach Nilfer together with Anura Walpola were great and we look forward to an exciting junior Tuskers season.” Ibrahim said that he was very pleased with how the team played. “We could have pulled off the South Korean game. We lost the last two games due to our own fault. We trained as a unit in less than 10 days. It is sad that we cannot go further to the Youth Rugby World Cup next year in Lisbon, Portugal.” (SJ)