If you are a Kandy fan, it is not the best times of the year. Kandy going down once again for the second successive year. Losing battles upfront and most worryingly at their fortress. Many things looks like happening around Kandy rugby these days. They sacked their coach. Rumors say that players were not happy with the coach etc. so are the days over for Kandy dominance?
I think Kandy going through a rough patch. Other teams have caught up with them or some can say their level of playing has deteriorated over time. Why everybody talk about Kandy this much? Trust me, its not only Kandy fans. Other rugby followers are talking about Kandy's dip in form as well. Simple reason for it would be the fact that Kandy was the team kept local club rugby kept going. It was a one horse race for sure, but still they were the only team to watch, if you wanted some quality rugby in display. That may come too harsh for other teams (I am a CR fan). At times truth is bitter :) .
The main reason for Kandy pattern of play is lack of confidence. If you saw the Havies game, it was clearly evident. They didn't engage in the game like they used to be when they were a champion outfit. If you are a champion side and when you have that mind set it is easy to pull up miracles. Lets take the best example of Aussies era under Ricky Ponting. In his good old days team Australia were fearsome. They didn't give up until the last wicket taken or last run scored.
If you remember some of the victories they pulled during that era, it was evident. Even when the opposition doing good, they believed in them selves which opposition didn't. Thats what champion mentality can do for you. Now look at what happened during latter part of Ponting's career. If you remember the test South Africa pulled out a miracle chase in forth innings, VVS Lakshman heroics to take India home in Mohali and England last pair's rearguard in 2009 ashes.
When you are in champion mindset , you don't believe in defeat. Things pop out from nowhere, when there is no hope. Kandy always did that. They had the cream of the players for sure. But still they survived every challenge came their way. They didn't have any bad days at office. Specially at Ni9ttewela, which is remarkable effort for a any sports team.
Look at above line up. This is the the lineup for today's game. Do you see any weak links? There may be for sure. They don't have likes of Achala Perera, Sajith Saranga, Safer Jahn, Thalagampola and the stars they had likes of Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Radhika Hettiarachchi, Sajith Mallikarachchi, Nalaka Weerakkody, Senaka Bandara and more. Still this is a very decent line up for me. I will never complain if I have the best halves combination of the country's , might have not fire the way people expected.
So I think Kandy should start to believe them selves again. Their body language should reflect it on the field. Forwards must be aggressive. If they need an example, they can watch the replay of the game against Havies. Watch what things Havies forwards did. It was pure aggression mixed with brilliant play. Kandy forwards were humiliated in front of the large crowd. My message is don't let be. If they cope up with that, there will be some absorbing second round games.