By Shamseer Jaleel
Two unbeaten teams in the current inter-club rugby season will clash for supremacy when Havelocks Sports Club host Kandy Sports Club at the Havelock Park on 2 January under lights which is probably the much-awaited encounter by all rugby fans in the country.
Kandy already heading the points table with 50-plus points wins over CH&FC, Air Force, Police and Army (44) and CR&FC (22-16) in their league matches. They have been playing some top class rugby back at their home grounds at Nittawela and once in Colombo against the Police. Their last game was a nail biter as every rugby fan expected a close encounter between the traditional rivals CR and Kandy.
Kandy SC led by dynamic fly half Fazil Marija, with some outstanding players in their rank such as Richard Dharmapala, Gayan Weeraratne, Arshard Jamaldeen, Sayuru Anthony, Kishore Jahan all playing at their peak. With the return of Shehan Pathirana, Vishwamithra Jayasinghe and Srinarth Sooriyabandara, Kandy looks near impossible for any team to knock them off even on their off day. The rare chance of having a close outing could be this one the fans waited for more than two months. The Park club too, want to celebrate their centenary year in grand style with the league win. The park club is led by former Petrite Sandun Herath who will have his schoolmate Dhanushka Ranjan returning for this key encounter after recovering from injury. Sudharshan Muthuthanthri will add much power to their forwards. They also have the former Wesley player Rahul De Silva who will operate from the base of the scrum and could fox any team.
On 2 January, CR will host the Navy which will also sure to attract a good crowd at Longdon Place. CR&FC raising their head high after their close encounter against Kandy are an outfit contains blend with youth and experience. Coached by one of the best in the country, Imthisam Marrikar, they have got players such as Lochana Hettirachchi, Ishan Noor, Shashan Mohamed, Tharinda Ratwatte and the Costa brothers who could breach any defence. The “Red Shirts” hold the edge in this encounter which will be officiated by referee Dinka Peries.
On the following day, Army will host CH&FC where the Soldiers will have a field day. This encounter will be under the watchful eyes of Irshard Cader. The Air Force will host the last match of week six when they play Police who stand a better chance to pull it off. Priyantha Gunaratne will referee this game.