Dandy Kandy SC win rugby 7’s – 2015

Kandy Sports Club long renowned for their skills in the abbreviated form of the game were crowned “Rugby Sevens champions” for 2015/16 tearing through defending champions Havelock Sports Club with a powerful display in a pulsating final in grand style.

It was a superb effort by the hill country team who showed an outstanding quality of play, determination, wonderful defense and inventive attacking to subdue what had been a lively Havelock Sports Club team.

The event was organized by the sport’s governing body SLRFU, and the winners of the tournament are awarded the Rugby 7’s trophy for 2015. Earlier it was played for late Lt. Gen Denzil Kobbekkduwa trophy. Now that trophy is sadly no more.

Kandy Sports Club were considered the most popular winners, acclaimed by a knowledgeable crowd who appreciate their magnificent seven, and worthy champions after growing up as a good team, getting better and better through the rounds.

Their brand of rugby succeeded only because they had the right blend of players and coached by the best find in rugby 7’s in the past in Saliya Kumar, who showed them the way to a 17-10 victory over defending champions Havelock Sports Club in the tournament final at Race Course Rugby grounds last Sunday.

The fancied Kandy Sports Club side, capped two superb days of rugby that included victories over Police SC “B” 50-0, Navy SC “A” 28-0, and in the quarter- finals beat Army S.C. “B” 70-0, beat CR and FC in the semi-final 19-7 with a superb battling display.

What anyone agreed was that the good teams find a way to win although at the outset it looked unlikely. In the end Kandy Sports Club supporters were grateful for a superb display by their players.

Kandy Sports Club captain Fazil Marija said: “This was amazing rugby. It’s going to take a while to sink in. I can’t describe it. The boys have come a long way with dedication, enthusiasm, keenness and willingness to perform at any level. In a situation like this everything clicked in the right manner resulting in being winners in all the games played.

‘We continued that form through the tournament. It is said that when the going gets tough,the tough gets going. This is exactly what it was against CR and FC. We faced this is a semi-final with determination and that was the motivation to win. We did likewise in the final”, said an elated Marija.

Coach Saliya Kumara added: “This achievement is quite unbelievable as the trend grew with all players focused towards carrying away the plum of the Rugby 7’s. We knew it when we beat the Solders in the quarters, that anything was possible. Our boys have been phenomenal and played some cracking Sevens so the success is thoroughly deserved’, were the words of an overjoyed coach.

‘I can’t really put them into words said rugby chairman of the Kandy Sports Club Lasantha Wijayausriya “We were just focusing on the Havies game as they were the defending champs. The boys were very emotional in the changing room, and I had to control them and remind them to start smiling and that this game is supposed to be fun. We’ve won all our games, so we are on a pretty hot streak and we have got a great team around us. We play as a team under coach Saliya Kuamra who was a rugby 7’s specialist during his playing era and he has done his best in moulding the team into a champion outfit’, were the sentiments expressed by a cheerful Wijayasuriya.

The man for all seasons Malik Samarawickrema long-serving man in the history of Kandy rugby and who has don wonders for the game and player said: “This triumph is a massive statement. We have really put ‘Sevens’ on the map and everybody is so proud of us. This was one of the best performance in a ‘sevens’ at any level. I’d like to thank the team and all the people who have been really supporting the team including the rugby committee and the rest’, said Samarawickrema savouring this stunning victory.

The happiest moment would have been for the newly elected president Udaya Balasuriya and his able committee, who have posses some dynamic personalities, who know how to promoter rugby in the right way, although most of them have not played good rugby. In this sevens Kandy Sports Club proved once again proved that they are the glamour boys.

The final winning team’s first try came from Nigel Ratwatte,which was goalled by Fazil Marija 7-0. A few minutes later saw the Park Club’s Sandun Hearth and Shenal Dias scoring two unconverted tries to lead 10-7 at the breather.

Then in the second half the tries, one from Richard Darmapala and another from Nigel Ratwatte were enough for Kandy Sports Club to beat last year’s champions Havelock sports Club 17-10

The Champion KSC team comprised players of the calibre of – Gayan Weerartne, Roshan Weeraratne two borthers props, Nigel Ratwatte Hooker, Richard Darmapala scrum half, Fazil Marijah as fly half, Lavanaga Perera Center. Anurudha Wilwera Winger / fullback. (Saliya Kumara coach), (Kapila Silva Manager), A.Jamaldeen Convenor)

At the end of play, former CR and FC, Sri Lanka ruggerite and SLRFU boss Asanga Senavirthne handed over the champions trophy to Kandy SC skipper Fazil Marija to thunderous cheers. Associated with Senaviratne was another top class ruggerite Havelock Sports Club, Sri Lanka Center Michael Jayasekara and Kandy SC President Udaya Balasuriya.

The player of the tournament was awarded was pocketed by the champion team’s Richard Dharmapala, a well deserved award from his excellent performance.