Thursday, 12 February 2015 01:08
By Shamseer Jaleel
Kandy Sports Club, one of the strong contenders for the Inter-Club League this year, will be hosting the Sri Lankan Air Force outfit at Nittawela Rugby Stadium on Sunday.
This will be the up-country teamâ€™s home match after a lapse of two months where two of their second round encounters against CH&FC and Hambantota Sharks were cancelled due to both teams pulling out of the league.
These two teams pulling out allowed Kandy to be at the receiving end. The main reason being that Kandy lost out on two good gate collections in their second round against CH&FC and the Sharks.
They burdened themselves on a trip down south to Beliatte, costing a good sum of money for meals, accommodation and travelling a daunting seven hours from the hill capital. They also travelled to play CH&FC in Colombo.
Kandy will be all out to go for a bonus point win against the Airmen after they drew level with CR&FC in their last outing in Colombo.
Kandy will be at full strength for this game with their speedy three quarter line to make the maximum use of scoring tries. They will have Fazil Marija, Nigel Ratwatte, Dhanushka Dyan, Lavanga Perera and Anurudha Wilwara threatening three quarters to any side.
Their overseas players Koto Pongi, Oscar Ouma and the South African Marcel will add power and strength to the outfit. Roshan Weeraratne who will operate from the base of the scrum is one of the best defenders of the game. Airmen too have performed well in the second round, scoring a good half a century win over the Hambantota Sharks (though points were not taken into account). They had a close first half and then went down to the defending champions Navy SC last week at Welisara. They will be boosted with several Fijian recruits to their ranks.
This encounter will be refereed by Aruna Rankothge.
This week matches will kick off on 13 February when the Havelocks SC host Army SC under lights. Army SC who are smarting from an unexpected defeat at the hands of the Cops last week and will be all out to make a comeback in order to keep their ranking in tact which will be vital for the next tournament â€“ Clifford Cup Knockout.
Army SC have several top end Fijians in their ranks along with some outstanding youth players such as Anurudha Karunatilake, Sri Lanka Youth skipper Randika Alwis, Rehan Fernando and Shashan Mohamed who could run through any defense without any issues.
On the other hand, Havies too have some quality youth players.
Mohamed Sheriff, Dulaj Perera, Dhanushka Ranjan, Sudharshan Muthuthanthri and Mithun Hapugoda will be major threats for the Soldiers.
On 14 February, weâ€™ll see defending champions Navy SC hosting the Police SC.
Navy SC will have a tough outing as the Cops are playing top class rugby in the second round.
But the only downfall which could happen for the Cops could be if they depend too much on their Fijian Apisai to deliver the goods.
The other players too need to play their part.
Sailors will be led by Sajith Saranga and possessing some outstanding forwards should get the best of their opponents.
Reza Mubarak playing at the full back position is with a safe pair of hands and his touch kicks plus place kicks are a bonus for any team he represents.
This encounter will be controlled by Dilroy Fernando who will make a comeback in refereeing after he returns from Pakistan, fresh from conducting a refereesâ€™ educator program.