Kandy Lions roar again, knockouts beckon, warriors in demand | Daily News

Kandy Lions roar again, knockouts beckon, warriors in demand

All hail the arrival of March and mother nature flexing her seasonal skills in anticipation of longer daylight hours and shorter nights.

The world according to planet rugby.... rotating quite independently with absolute precision and timing.

2019 might just boost the games profile to its maximum. Consider the Rugby World Cup in Asia, hosted by the ubiquitous sport crazy Japanese this September.

Furthermore Japan’s rugby culture is positively deep and hugely patronized between the islands.

Facilities are top class and inspiration to toddlers, schools, clubs, Corp teams, rep teams and the National Squads.

Both men and women are currently Asian champions in all formats.

Rugby in Japan, is almost an unofficial religion ... quite the same Passion for the game and following as in New Zealandů the Olympus of our World order - and champions of the planet in every known format and category.

Historically and physically, the NZ All Blacks are the warriors and the team everyone needs to beat to become world no 1.

It is a remarkable phenomenon that each coach has the luxury of marking players from the gene pool of super rugby...for national duty.

The richest mix of rugby talent skill and class from both hemispheres

Take a few moments and contemplate the current wave of international rugby and consider the millions who watch the live matches, plus radio, internet access, print and other media channels.

Super Rugby, 6 Nations, the Bledsoe Cup, World Cup, etc for XVs ...then the 7s...World Series, Commonwealth Games, 7s World Cup, the Olympic Games 7s.... its endemic, and definitely the 3rd most patronized sport in the world.

Football and the Olympics the two who command and capture the global imagination.

All said and done... as islanders our appetite for the code, like in Japan, is nothing less than bewildering. Pound for pound, we can certainly match up to our Asian super rugby nationůnot in XVs but in 7s.

80mins against full time contracted professionals is somewhat unrealistic to say the least.

In total context. Eddie Jones, the master of wizardry and craft, took Australia to a World Cupů he transformed Japan and their mindset from just players to an impact focus warrior class.

Only Jones and boys knew their strategy to contest everything with the Springboks...to pressure them relentlessly, to run at pace ...and the element of surprise for the duration.

South Africa could only watch with absolute disbelief as Japan outwitted the Boks and perhaps the biggest upset in world rugby?

At home... the Kandy Lions stamped their class and power to finish no. 1 for the 5th year running.

A telling statement of hardwork, belief, patience and fitness.

The depth of their squad, almost impossible to counter.

Havelocks really stepping out of their skins and nearly outscoring them in Colombo.

Captain Ritchie and coach Sean justifying their reputation and status.

CH also had a grand opportunity but lacked fitness and depth to get past a Nigel Ratwatte inspired clinical 4-try finish that blew the fans away.

Kalhara, Anthony, Shehan Pathirana, Jason, were efficient and broke opponents into bits.

Ritchie, Wilivera, Danushka Ranjan, Lavanga.. Thilina W, and Nigel Ratwatte, too consistent and calm under pressure ...right through all the games.

A dream season for the Lions to defy all odds and defend their league title again.

Survival at the top and maintaining that edge is a phenomenal achievement and a job well done.

The Singer school’s league is by far the most popular sport in sunny Sri...let’s wish all the stables and their management... a good hard challenge ...but absolutely fair season.

Hosts must ensure total security and protection for players and fans alike.

Schools rugby should be the most positive example of fairplay, committment, pride and teamwork.

The SLSRFA should seek to take the game to the next level.

Vital that we project and promote the big matches on a live interactive format.

Live streaming creates interest and a global TV following.

Make schools rugby a valuable partnership for edu sport and good health.

Rugby islanders...biggerůbetter, faster, harder and clean.

Bula bula api Sri!


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