Kandy SC 20 times champions in 25 years | Daily News

Kandy SC 20 times champions in 25 years

Over the course of Kandy Sports Club’s career in the rugby field, they are the only club to win the league title 20 times in 25 years from 1994, which is regarded as one of the greatest achievements in the field of local rugby. Very few clubs anywhere in the sporting field have won so many titles. The club’s greatest pride and joy remain as the one and only club who have won the league and the knockouts the highest number of times. Kandy SC is one of the most widely supported teams, and the club has one of the largest spectator support among sports teams.

Kandy SC led by Richard Dharmapala continued to walk the local league rugby scene like a colossus and won the league for the 20th time when they defeated Havelocks SC in the final Super league match. The defending league champions were crowned once again on Sunday for yet another year in a newly adopted tournament, where the first four teams in the table met in a K/O and the leading team was awarded the Trophy. Despite losing three games Kandy SC still came back to win which gave them the title for the fifth consecutive year. Earlier Kandy won the league title for a record nine consecutive years between 2000 and 2009. The players need to be congratulated and applauded for their commitment and will to win.

In the deciding game against Havelock SC it was a superb effort by the hill country team who showed outstanding quality of play, determination, wonderful defence and inventive attacking to subdue what has been a lively team. They showed how rugby should be played, their play was far better than the Park Club, who got a little lost in their play especially in the first half. However in the second half they came back strongly, but the first half score by Kandy was a big margin to bridge. The Park club must have been sorry for allowing to Kandy to secure three penalties in the first half accurately converted by Thilina Wijesinghe.

They struggled for survival in the rough seas of the forwards play and drowned. Kandy’s defence was beyond par. The loser’s couldn’t get any momentum and couldn’t shift it wider as the winners were off the line so quickly. A dominant first half from Kandy SC put the game out of reach of the Havies. Sad to say in this game the overseas referee was below expectation and was diffidently unsuitable for a final.

Kandy SC were coached by Sean Wijesinghe and Fazil Marija. Their success has been due to the players, that is the forwards and backs. They have solid props, towering second rows who did their best to win the ball and were also outstanding in loose play. The fast breaking flankers were there to always to hound the loose ball and were solid in defence and finally the last and the best of them all was the number eight forwards who played in different matches.

The way Kandy SC forwards played it will be good for some clubs to take a few lessons from them. The scrum was outstanding and actually the play maker of the game Fly half, centers and the wingers were at their best and the last line of defence was well manned. They owe a lot to their playmaker Nigel Ratwatte for doing a wonderful job. Today the name of Ratwatte is synonymous with rugger and he is one player who can make or break a game. He can be rated as a top fly half.

Rugby chairman Lasantha Wijasuriya who is in his 19th year as head of rugby, did a grand job like in the past, and also not forgetting team manager Kapila de Silva who is in his 15th year. The happiest moment would have been for the president Mahes Weerasinghe and the rest comprising vice presidents L. Wijesuriya, S. Tennakoon, Secretary S. Liyanage, Treasurer A. Laphir, committee members S. Perera, A. Nanayakkara, A. Ranasinghe, J. Pathirana, M. Rasheed, Dr A.D. Welikella, U. Silva, C. Jayathilake, M. Stephen, A Jayasena, S. Wijesinghe and F. Marija

All in all the man behind the success was none other than ‘Mr. Rugby’ Malik Samarawickrema. Everyone who supports Kandy SC are proud of the contribution made by Samarawickrema. From the day he chose to promote rugby at Kandy SC the game has flourished. He is the man who helped them win the first ever trophy in rugby. Sans Malik Kandy rugby will be like a carnival without lights.

A big hand should also go to the long time sponsors Cargill’s Food City and newcomers Mobitel for their support of Kandy SC.

The champion team comprised players of the caliber of Richard Dharmapala [captain], Lavanga Perera, Damith Dissanayake, Sashika Jayawardene, Roshan Weeraratne, Keshan Kalhara, Buwenaka Udangamuwa, Thilina Wijesinghe, Tharindu Chathuranga, Jason Dissanayake, Suhiru Anthony, Ganuka Dissanayake, Yakoob Ali, Shen Pathirana, Nigel Ratwatte, Vishwamithra Jayasinghe, Danush Dayam, Anushka Ranjan, Ashan Darling, Uchitha Jayasuriya, Lasitha Aththangoda, Heshan Jasen, Omantha Panthiywantha, Kelum Madussanka, Nipouna Thaak, Diluksha Fange, Malith Wijesundara, M. Shabeer, Sanushka Abeyawickrema, Laskitha Ranaweera, Asitha Ratnayake, Chamika Perera, Team Manager Kapila Silva, and the masseur Mobie Perera and the ever green team attendant S. Kumar.


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