Kandy to meet Navy in grand finale on Sunday

Friday, 13 March 2015 00:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Chris Colette the main playmaker for Kandy SC     By Shamseer Jaleel Five months of hard-fought rugby drama will boil down to one game: A clash between Kandy and defending league champions Navy in the grand final of the inter-club league rugby competition, which will be worked off at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium on 15 March. Kick-off is scheduled for 4.15 p.m. with Sports and Tourism Minister Navin Dissanayake gracing the occasion as Chief Guest. In their first meeting it was Kandy who got the better of their opponents at Welisara after a couple of years of losing at this venue. Kandy will be at full strength for this game after going without star players Fazil Marija and Tongan Koto Pongi for their game against Havelocks last week. Kandy will depend heavily on their South African flanker Chris Colette. He is one of the best flankers in club rugby and good in both attack and defence. Kandy’s forwards are led by skipper Sean Wijesinghe, who has been outstanding, and they have been the leading outfit in the decision-making and loose play departments. Roshan Weeraratne will operate from the base and his defence and distribution of the ball to the three-quarters is vital. Furthermore, Kandy has got Anurudha Wilwara and Lavanga Perera, two of the best wingers in the country. Nigel Ratwatte too will be fit for the grand final game. The home team will be looking to give their rugby crazy supporters a good win to end the season as well as their two-year league trophy drought. Navy will be all out to repeat last year’s performance at Nittawela, where they beat the Kandyan outfit after a lapse of 13 years. But it will not be the same Navy team this time around. Their forwards have some quality players such as Sathiya Ranathunge, Sajith Saranga and Achala Perera. However, Saranga looks a doubtful starter with the injury he sustained at the recently concluded Borneo Rugby Sevens in Malaysia two weeks ago. They have some powerful lads in the second row for the line-outs with Sharo Fernando and Kalana Amarasinghe. Fiji Sevens star Stefano will be a heavily marked man along with dynamic scrum-half Srinath Sooriyabandara. Sooriyabandara is considered one of the best players in attack as well as in defence. This encounter will be controlled by an overseas referee with Pradeep Fernando and Sarath Madugalle assisting him. Meanwhile, there will be two other matches played tomorrow but they will not have an impact on the inter-club league championship. One of these will see Havelocks hosting Sri Lanka Air Force. They missed out on two opportunities to beat Kandy this season, after coming close both in the first and second legs. In the other fixture, Police will host CR&FC at Police Park. This will be a good tune-up game for both teams ahead of the Clifford Cup Knockout competition which will commence next week.