Saturday, January 25, 2014

Whats the wrong with Kandy?????

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.

Kandy SC - Kishore Jehan, Damith Dissanayake, Lasitha Madurnaga, Dinesh Sanjeewa, Gayan Ratnayake, Asitha Ratnayake, Keith Gurusinghe, Andrew Porter, Randika de Alwis, Sean Wijasinghe, Heshan Kelhara, Roshan Weeratne, Fazil Marija, Gayan Weeratne, David Halasoua, Anurudha Wilwara, Lavanga Perera, Oshan Perera, Damien Ratwatte, Dahrshana Etipola, Richard Dharmapala, Saliya Kumara.

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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Kandy vs Havelocks : Post-mortem

Even though the Kandy – Havelocks game is done and dusted I thought about writing my bit.

If a Kandy fan in mid 2000's went to some magic hibernate sleep and woke up in time for witness last weeks game, I am sure he would go nuts or kill him self. He would rather think that teams have changed their jersey colors or some thing has terribly gone wrong. In fact Kandy rugby has some loop holes now which are penetrated so badly by other teams. By taking nothing away from Havies superb effort, its still below par performance from a team which used to local rugby well over a decade or so. Any way lets focus on teams separately now.


Compared to last week Havies put up a great show. They were brilliant in all the aspects in the game , except for place kicking. Havies were quick to identify their weakness from last week. Which was obviously the 9/10 combination. They brought Mithun Hapugoda to starting line up as scrum half and he delivered what team needed. I think that move sat the game up for home team. They replaced Mithun with veteran Zulki Hameed as much as early in the second half. Zulki was in thick of things as well providing spark to Havies back line.

Even though #9 provided much needed support, Niroshan Fernando converted to a hero from a villain last week. He had probably the game of the season and easily outplayed his counterpart , who is none other than “country's best” Fazil Marija. Niro played with confidence and it grew with the game. His kicks to touch was excellent. As I watched closely, every time Havies got a penalty, Niro kicked deep in to Kandy half which gave torrid time for the visitors. Many people looked to have forgot what Dhanushka Ranjan did. He tackled his foreign counterpart every time and had a great game. Still he tries to go on his own at times , but in the time to come he will come good at that as well.

If you think 9/10 combination was the thing that Havies came on top, its not true. As far as the back line enjoyed a great evening, they should thank their forwards for that. At the post match interview Muthuthatntri talked about “aggression”. Thats what exactly they did. They were too hot to handle and destroyed Kandy up front which laid the foundation for the back. The scrummage and rolling mauls were treat to watch while line outs were 100% perfect as in a dream.


When you loose its hard to identify what has exactly gone wrong, because there are too many factors. I am not going to say Havies won because of Kandy's weakness, but Kandy is not the side once they were. With Andrew Porter injured within first few minutes of the game, forwards looked flat and outplayed by Havies. Line outs were pathetic and they were shy at the breakdowns.

So thats my bit on the game and if you missed the game, I recommend you guys to watch the second half recorded video on papare. Specially the last try Havies scored was too brilliant to miss if you are a rugby fan.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Can Havies live up to the expectation?

Next week or rather this weekend's game will be the most anticipated one for the rugby league. Defending champions vs wounded lions I would say. So just thought of writing down my views on it.

This game should be a thriller. I think there is no doubt about it. But I suspect will this game live up to the expectation we have. Simply because of the fact that Havies doesn't seem to be the same unit which we saw last year, at least for me.

Changes for Havelocks

As I said in my last post it is evident for me , with the 9/10 combination it's going to be tough for Havies. I respect and understand the fact that you cant match the level of country's best halves combination (Roshan Weeraratne and Fazil Marija). But there is a BIG “if” for that. If other teams can carefully select their combination, they can make it work. Navy showed exactly that during league. Their halves combination of Suranga Pushpakumara and Chanaka Chandimal are hitting it smoothly. Pushpe is quick, cunning and dynamic which makes him good enough for the challenge while Chanaka Chandimal has shown his class.

Halves Combination

Havies are desperate for a new halves combination I think. If they are not , they will have to pay for it specially in the second round. I am not writing off Meedin and Niroshan Fernado completely. Thing with Meedin is he is too slow, lack creativity. He is always providing too static ball to his line which is killing the game for Havies when they have likes of Sandun Herath, Chamara Dabare and Mithun Hapugoda with foreign center. In last game I didn't see any occasion Mohomad Sherif who is a fairly good runner with the ball joining the line.

Scrum Half

I think Havies think tank should bring in changes. But what options do they have? Last years their substitute fly half Pushpakumara Perera is with Navy this year. I saw him replacing Suranga Pushpakumara at Kandy game as scrum half and played well. So Havies left with old soldier Zulki Hameed who replaced Meedin in the latter part of Navy game. Zulki didn't look too bad for me. He was willing to run with the ball, get tackled and spotting few gaps at will. The question is is he fully fit or ready to start a game. I really doubt that. I know Zulki gives 100% but , “has the time away from game got in to him?” Is the question I got.

Fly Half

I am not going to say Havies should replace Niroshan Fernando from the starting line up. He is a good player than that. But I think time requires Havies to take some bold, dynamic decisions. The option that looks to me is Dulaj Perera. He is a player I have watched with so enthusiasm since his school days. Kid got coll head, great amount of potential and a thinking fly half. He is not a kicking fly half, who are not tend to kick every ball come there way. Simple argument I am making is “if Rimzie Jamaldeen slotting in to #10 at CR so nicely, why cant Dulaj for Havies?”. Anyway its up to Havies think tank to bring on changes and make strategies for the game.

Mid field

Last week Danushka Ranjan started at outside. He is a wonder boy from school days, but I yet to see him fitting to club level. He tried too much on his own in last game, probably thinking that he can run around defenses like he used to do in college days. I am not asking him to be replaced, but bit more thinking and change strategies would give him a world of good I guess. Finally Lee Keegal is with Navy this year and I think it has done some impact on Havies mid field.


I think the loss at nittawela did world of good for Kandy. I am not a Kandy fan , but I really like the way their coaching staff and players took the defeat. They didn't hide any thing and gave a good look at it and came back strong after that. They did the change everyone wanted them to do by bringing Fazil Marija to his favored position and suddenly Kandy line looks at its best with the likes of Wilwara and Lavanga Perera. What is most wonderful is even Pradeep Liyanage is sidelined due to a injury they are running circles around opponent defenses. Only weakness that Havies will find in Kandy team will be forward pack. But if Kandy play with the passion and hunger they used to play with , I think they will break lot of Colombo fans hearts and mine for sure.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Why Havelockes lost the game

Watched the last week big game, Navy vs Havies. I am not going to talk about refereeing or atmosphere at Welisara which are irrelevant factors for Havies loss. I saw various reasons on social media by fans , but if you read them most were BS. Simply most of them haven't watched the game and just pointing at many things.

First Navy try was a example of sheer foreign power. I was at the perfect angle to view it. Navy outside center just brutally brushed away Havies defenders who were shy to engage with him. Then only they decided to confront him up and close and throughout the game they handled Navy foreigners much better.

I you wonder why Navy won against both Kandy and Havies , answer is plain simple. They were the more hungrier team which has perfect appetite for win. They were well prepared and planned well , which other teams didn't.

What Havies did well?

Forwards. Led by Muthuthantri, Havies looked really dangerous forward pack to me. Specially with the return of Shenal Dias they were the best forward pack for me on that day. Having the guys like “lema” Pathirana, Sharo Fernando who are giving more than 100% work rate, they were better than their counter parts. I think return of Shenal Dias has upgraded their quality while some tooth to it.

Weakness and reason to loose

If you followed Havies games this season, you would have noticed the fact that they were given very anxious moment's by their opponents. They won every other battle before , but I felt they didn't stamp their authority like a champion team should do. What happened on Saturday was exactly that.
Niroshan Fernando had a game to forget. The way he played reminded me the match against Madagascar which he debut for Sri Lanka. He was nervous and made blunders under pressure. While the game going on, a guy behind me said what Niro is doing. He said “if he starts well , he continues do well. If he starts bad , then forget about it”. Thats what exactly happened. Niro started nervously and continued to do so. His kick was smothered by Navy attackers and crucial try was scored. Again I was in a perfect view when that happened. Niro had ample time to clear the ball, dummy , pass or what ever he wanted to do. But he was slow and mad e a mess of it.

9/10 combination

Havies 9/10 combination was awful and it where they lost the game for me. Young Meedin is touch slow and too predictable in his play and Niro didn't do too great either. So they made a perfect combination for a loosing team. Havies lacked creativity in the mid field, killer instinct thanks to that. If you compare other front runners , Kandy have Roshan/Marija and Navy too with Suranga/Chandimal. Even CR got lot of options at scrum half and Rimzie Jamaldeen doing realy well at #10.


What ever game it is Discipline is a key. if you are not , simple thing can take away the game from you. Sharo did exactly that after Havies successfully got the ball near their try line when Navy knocked on. He punched a player and gave away easy penalty to Navy , which was the first score of the second half with out any complaints.  

So those are my thoughts on game. In next article I will look at next week's big game.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

CR පිලට පහසු ජයක්

අන්තර් සමාජ රගර් තරඟාවලියේ තවත් තරඟයකදී ගුවන් හමුදා පිල 55-0 ලෙස පරාජය කල CR පිල පහසු ජයක් ලැබීය. ප්‍රථම භාගය නිමා වන විට 26-0 ලෙස CR පිල ඉදිරියෙන් සිටියේය. ගෝල දිනුම් 5ක් සහ උත්සහක දිනුම් 4 ක් මගින් එම ලකුණු වාර්තා වූ අතර CR ෆ්ලයි හාල්ෆ් ක්‍රීඩක අෂාන් ඩි කොස්තා විශිෂ්ඨ ලෙස ක්‍රීඩා කලේය.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

පුබල මහනුවර පිල පැරදවීමට නාවික හමුදාව සමත් වෙයි

මෙවර අන්තර් සමාජ රගර් පිටියෙ පෙරළිකාර කණ්ඩායම වන නාවික හමුදා පිල පසුගිය සති අන්තයේ දී ප්‍රබල මහනුවර පිල පැරදවීමට සමත් විය. මෙහිදී ලකුණු තත්වය 12 -11 ලෙස සටහන් විය. මහනුවර පිල වෙනුවෙන් අනුර උදන්ගමුව උත්සාහක දිනුමක් වාර්තා කල අතර සාලිය කුමාර දඩුවම් පහර දෙකක් එල්ල කලේය. ජයග්‍රාහී නාවික හමුදා පිල දඩුවම් පහර 4 ක් මගින් ලකුණු රැස් කල අතර නුව් හෙට්ටිආරච්චි සහ දේව් ආනන්ද පහර 2 බැගින් සාර්ථක කර ගත්හ.

ප්‍රථම භාගය නිම වන විට නාවික හමුදා පිල 6-5 ලෙස ඉදිරියෙන් සිටියේය. නාවික හමුදා පිල මෙහෙයවනු ලබන්නේ යෝෂිත රාජපක්ෂ විසිනි.

Monday, July 6, 2009

මෙවර පාසල් ලීග් ලකුණූ සටහන

මෙවර අන්තර් පාසල් ලීග් තරඟාවලියේ ලකුණු සටහන ඉහත දැක්වේ.

උපුටා ගැනීම Daily Mirror පුවත් පතේ අනුග්‍රහයෙනි.