Kandy Sports club in strong position after first round
Thursday, 8 January 2015 00:00
The only Up Country Club that played competitive rugby for over a hundred years are in full swing this season to claim back the Inter club League and the Knock out trophies on offer this rugby season. So far they have lived up to the expectation of their club committee, sponsors and importantly their die-hard fans from Kandy who rock up in numbers for their home and away games.
They have won seven matches out of the eight played and look set for the kill in the second round which will commence in one week time. Though on equal wins when compared to their closest rival Navy SC, Kandy are at an added advantage with a home game against the Sailors in the second round, after beating them at Welisara in the first round. They will then have a further five home matches in the second round. They are coached by one of the top and knowledgably best in the country, Johan Taylor of South Africa, who turned Kandy into a winning outfit once more after his one year away from the Club. The players too have supported him with ever reliable Sean Wijesinghe, the former Trinitian, leading the outfit in grand style.
Senior players such as Fazil Marija, Roshan Weeraratne, Gayan Weeraratne, Anurudha Wilwara, Nigel Ratwatte and Shashika Jayawardena support their captain whenever required. The other success story for Kandy is their overseas players Chris Colette and Oscar Ouma with their international exposure which has helped the team immensely. Oscar playing with the Kenyan team in the sevens circuit and Chris playing in the Currie Cup in South Africa helped them to mingle around the local players with their exposure. The latest addition, Koto Pongi from Tonga, who plays division 1 in Japan is a team man who will play a vital part in the second round after his excellent start for the local rugby debut against CH & FC a week ago.
Defending champions Navy SC is one of the closest rivals for Kandy SC and will be looking for a clean slate in the second round under Yoshitha Rajapakse when they lock horns with the Hambantota Sharks in the first match of the second round of the League Rugby Tournament at Welisara on January 16. Third placed Havelocks Sports Club will play host to Police Sports Club on January 17 (Saturday) at Havelock Park with the first round game between these two teams having ended in a 43 – 27 win for the Park Club. On the same day, fourth placed CR and FC will take on Army at Longdon Place, the “Red Shirts” having won the first round game by 21 – 15. Table leaders Kandy Sports Club, who will have five home matches will confront CH and FC at Nittawela on January 18 (Sunday) with the lads from Kandy having won the first round game by a huge 71 points to 5 in the first round.