The CR & FC sadly bids adieu to Grant Dwyer
when he leaves Sri Lanka on the 17th of July. He was the CR & FC
coach for the past two years. Steeped in the best traditions of
Australian Rugby, players, members and even opponents were very
impressed with his coaching skills. I believe that Grant Dwyer
has set a new standard for Rugby coaching in Sri Lanka. He is
indeed a role model coach. Grant will be taking up an assignment
in the prestigious and elite English Rugby Club - Wasps. He will
be holding the high office of the Club Rugby Development
The 33 year old Queenslander says that he was fortunate to
become involved in playing rugby at Nudgee College in Brisbane
where he attended boarding school and played both Rugby and
Rugby league over a period of 20 years. As Grant leaves our
shores he was quite emotional about the time he spent in Sri
Lanka and said that Rugby provides a powerful culture and he can
look back and see that a great number of his friends were borne
out of the involvement in playing the game here and overseas. He
thinks that this Rugby spirit is so important to the game and it
is critical that it is maintained as it separates us from other
Grant’s coaching achievements of note are having been involved
with a number of Queensland junior schools and tertiary
representative teams. His greatest buzz from coaching at this
stage is seeing past members of teams now playing Super 14 for
the Australian franchises and some being selected in the
Wallabies Squad this year. One notable player being David Pocock,
who made his Super 14 debut with the Western Force at 18 years
of age. It was great for Grant to see these players going on to
the next stage. He feels that it is important for coaches to
realize that they play such an important role in the development
of players in their formative years.
Grant who is accredited with a level two coaching certificate
from the Australian Rugby Football Union is currently
undertaking further studies in Applied Science Human Movements
majoring in Sports Coaching through the University of Queensland
and the Australian Institute of Sport . He feels that it is so
competitive at the upper levels of coaching that it is now
critical that coaches have specific sport’s qualifications other
than rugby accreditation. “It just gives you so much more
insight into building the athlete and avoiding breaking the
athlete which is so important. Sports science now plays a
crucial role in player performance on and off the field; you
just need to look at the speed, strength, and endurance levels
of current international players to see what separates the best
from the rest” - words of wisdom from a man who has a great
passion and love for the game.
Dwyer hopes to continue to educate himself and gain experience
in coaching at all levels and has set a goal to be at the top of
his game by the time he is 40, and in 7 years time he would like
to be coaching in a high level fully professional league
somewhere in Europe or Japan. His new appointment in England
will bring him a step closer to achieving his goal.
His favourite rugby players are Arron Mauger and Leon McDonald
from the Crusaders because they are 2 players who don’t receive
the attention of other players but are the best in the world in
their positions. Grant believes that Graham Henry is the best
coach in the world at the moment and is one man who is
constantly being innovative and trying new things on the field.
The CR & FC Rugby team will do their utmost to accord him with a
farewell gift on Sunday the 16th of July and this will be the
winning of the league trophy for which they will have to triumph
by more than 5 points over the Reigning Champions – Kandy Sports
Looking beyond the boundaries
The skills in Sri Lankan sportsmen and women have often left
foreign coaches and athletes astonished. The talent Sri Lankans
display in cricket has helped the country earn international
fame. As a result there have been many instances where Sri
Lankans have found employment overseas through cricket. Other
sportsmen and women aspire to reach great heights like the
cricketers but often have a sad story to tell as to why they
haven’t yet made it. If one makes a comparison between the
cricketers who have reached international standards and the
athletes who carry a grudge in their sporting careers it’s
evident that those in the latter group haven’t been bold enough
to explore the opportunities that the world has to offer.
Sri Lankans by nature are backward. As a result they are too
dependent on what their parents or coaches bring them. This is
why we see sportsmen and women with great potential fade away in
the absence of a solid system in their respective sports.
But then again Sri Lanka had sportsmen like Nilantha Bandara
Walisundara (Boxing), Dushanth Lewke (rugby) and Palitha
Galapaththi (A fourth Dan Black Belt holder in Karate) who went
abroad to gain the experience they needed when their respective
sports bodies at home failed to provide them with what they
needed to make progress in sport. Walisundara didn’t find
satisfaction fighting in the ring at home so he went in search
of a professional boxing licence to England and was successful.
National rugby player Lewke was only playing in fits and starts
before a stint with a second division club in New Zealand turned
him into a better player who now has acquired the skill to take
the ball forward regardless what the opposition is. Galapaththi,
a renowned kyokushin karateka, didn’t experience the ultimate
form of fighting till he took up fighting in K 1 tournaments. K
1 is a level of fighting where rules to stop a fighter from
inflicting the maximum damage on an opponent don’t exist.
Opportunities come the way of Sri Lankan sportsmen and women
when they come in contact with foreign coaches and players.
Opportunities for sportsmen are huge at sporting events like
South Asian Games, Rugby ASIAD or any other sporting event. This
writer can recall how a local rugby club grabbed the fitness
trainer-a Fijian national- of the Thailand national rugby team
during a rugby union international played in Colombo. What most
Sri Lankan sportsmen and women have failed to grasp is that the
international circuit provides them with the best opportunities
to get noticed. Our cricketers on the contrary seem to be
masters at creating opportunities for themselves. Our own
cricketers like Aravinda de Silva (Kent), Muttiah Muralitharan
(Lancashire), Sanath Jayasuriya (Somerset) probably saw that
they should have the experience of playing in a competitive
domestic tournament before they hang up their cricket boots
which is why they looked beyond the boundaries of Sri Lanka’s
inter-club cricket tournament.
This is an era where a good many of the sporting bodies are
governed by officials who don’t sport the best of
qualifications. A good many of these officials make us believe
that they are clueless as to what the sport needs, leave alone
the requirements of the players. So its time that those who
carry grudges against sports officials for not doing enough for
them look for what’s on offer for them on planet earth.
Keheliya bats for Sri Lanka cricket
By Kenneth de Silva
Spectators who came to witness the Royal-Wesley Division I
cricket tournament fixture were in for a pleasant surprise when
they saw Minister Keheliya Rambukwella watching proceedings.
When ‘The Nation’ wanted to have a few words with Rambukwella he
was most polite and obliging. When asked what his interest in
the match was he replied, “My son Ramith is playing for the
Royal team and I have followed his cricket, whenever possible,
from the time he started playing at the under 11 age group.” The
father must have been a happy man as young Ramith had done very
well to score 34 against Wesley yesterday and 123 against Asoka
Vidyalaya the previous day.
On being asked what his favourite sport was Minister Rambukwella
said, “Definitely Cricket! I really love the game. I played for
the 2nd X1 team at S. Thomas’ College and also played Table
Tennis, Squash and Tennis.” With a hearty laugh he added, “I
captained the under 15 teams at the three racket sports I played
but I am definitely not a racketeer.”
Talking of ‘Grit’, a quality that Thomians are renowned for, he
readily agreed, “Certainly yes! This quality has helped me right
The Minister was very emphatic when he spoke on the future of
Sri Lanka cricket.” This is the only sport in which we have
reached international standards and it is great to see our
players standing up to the best teams in the world. Yet, I
believe that we can do even better if we search out the talent
in the outstations. At the moment the blend of youth and
experience in our cricket is working out well. I am sure we will
continue to succeed in the future.”
It’s time authorities booked rugby’s
By Shanil Abeynaike
Violence in school rugby has been on the increase in recent
years. Both players and officials have been at the receiving end
of these unruly incidents.
With a schools’ rugby season kicking-off, violence seems to be
raising its ugly head with the latest episode being at the
Western Province Under 20 seven’s tournament final between St.
Peter’s College and Isipathana College, where the referee was at
the receiving end of an assault by spectators.
Referee Nimal Somaratne says that a section of the crowd
assaulted him after the conclusion of the match and that most of
his attackers where under the influence of liquor. He had handed
over a report on the incident to the officials concerned who
promised that an immediate inquiry would be held.
Commenting on the incident Coach of Isipathana College, Hisham
Abdeen, said that he believes that poor security measures during
tournaments are the cause. Abdeen added that since outside
persons are involved it is difficult to control the situation or
identify those responsible.
Peterite Coach Sanath Martis, who is a top disciplinarian,
believes such incidents tarnish the image of the game, but poor
refereeing standards are also a cause for such incidents.
Media Spokesman for the Sri Lanka Society for Rugby Referees,
M.R Moosa, said that they cannot take any action until they
receive the report on the inquiry. They have also called for a
meeting with the Schools’ Rugby Union to discuss security
arrangements for referees at future matches and the referees’
committee will decide on future action to be taken after this
So what steps have the authorities taken regarding this incident
and to stop such incidents occurring in the future?
According to the Prefect of Games Isipathana College,
G.Sarathchandra, the college rugby committee has decided to
obtain security from a private security company for referees
officiating at all Isipathana College matches.
The President of the Western Province Schools’ Rugby Football
Union, K. D. Punyadasa, who is also the Principal of Isipathana
College, had witnessed this incident. He says that he cannot
initiate an inquiry as he has not received a formal complaint,
in writing, from the referee concerned.
On the accusation that he was not taking proper action on the
matter as his school was involved, Mr. Punyadasa said that in an
under 16 tournament match involving Royal college and Isipathana
College he suspended both schools for three weeks. However, due
to requests from both schools they were given a suspended
This was the first time such a sentence was given, even though
he had faced stiff opposition from his own school. He added that
he would do the same regarding this incident because he believes
if such incidents were not stopped he would have to rethink
about conducting tournaments in the future.
The Secretary of the Schools’ Rugby Football Union, Kumar
Rodrigo, said that they have issued tough new guidelines
regarding discipline at matches and schools found guilty of
violent conduct will have a 12-month suspension in addition to
Chief Executive Officer of the SLRFU, Dilroy Fernando, says he
has asked the Schools’ Union to take immediate action regarding
the incident. He has also scheduled a meeting with all school
captains, coaches and masters in charge to advise them on the
conduct expected during matches.
If prompt action is not taken to stop the occurrence of such
incidents and they go unchecked, violence would only increase.
This would result in past rugby players being reluctant to take
up refereeing, as they would fear for their personal safety.
Many parents would also be reluctant to let their children take
up the game of rugby which would be classified as a rowdy and
Cricket finals under lights
The ’86 batch of D.S Senanayake College will organize an
inter-batch six-a-side cricket carnival which is scheduled to be
held today at the College grounds from 8.00 a.m. onwards.
According to a press release issued by the organizing committee
the special feature of this sporting event is that the finals
will be played under flood lights.
The release further states that the funds generated from the
tournament will be utilized for the development of the school.
CH&FC beat Havies 32-10
CH&FC scored a hard fought 32-10 win over Havelock’s Sports
Club in a Caltex Inter-club rugby tournament fixture at Maitland
The winners scored their points through four tries, three
conversions and two penalties as against a try, a conversion and
a penalty by Havelock’s SC.
The try of the match was scored by CH winger Nishantha Kumara
who ran almost sixty meters to record the team’s first try.
Havelocks SC were guilty off too much kicking and also failed to
finish off moves whenever the forwards clicked.
CH definitely looked the better side and scored through the
efforts of M.Malewana (1 try), Zakir Badhurdeen (1 try) and
Saliya Kumara (three conversions and two penalties). (RN)
SLAF beat Army 15-8
Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club recorded a rousing 15 points
to 8 win over Army Sports Club in a second round Caltex
Inter-club rugby tournament fixture at Ratmalana yesterday.
According to an official of the Sri Lanka Air Force Sports Club
the ‘Airmen’ had beaten Army SC for the first time after 1986.
The scores were nil all at half time. (RN)
Trinity wins De Saram Shield
By Mariks our Kandy
Trinity took home the Canon R.S.De Saram Shield by beating
S.Thomas’ College 12 points to nil at Bogambara Stadium
The Trinitians led 7-0 at half time.
Trinity juniors recorded a 5-0 win in the under-17 match that
took place before the senior match.