|Till all schools
play rugby in the true spirit of sportsmanship
tournament rules & regulations a must
M Naushad Amit
The Vice President of the Sri Lanka Rugby Football
Union (SLRFU), Lasitha Gunaratne blamed the
officials of the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football
Association (SLSRFA) for failing in their duties and
for not taking prompt action in the incident which
occurred during the first semi-final of Milo
President’s Knockout Rugby Tournament between St.
Peter’s and Isipathana at Longdon Place last
Wednesday (July 14).
“It was clearly a technical lapse by the SLSRFA
tournament committee. Instead of taking necessary
steps to continue the match which was played almost
to the half time, in a knockout tournament where a
decision is obvious, they took the wrong channel
despite having the ultimate power in decision
making,” Gunaratne who is apparently the tournament
director and chairman of the tournament committee
for SLRFU told The Nation.
The action packed first semi-final between league
champions St. Peter’s and Isipathana came to an
abrupt halt after some spectators supporting
Isipathana began to throw stones, chairs and wooden
sticks on to the playing area protesting a referee’s
decision. The game was at its peak and was 27
minutes old with St. Peter’s having a steady lead of
14-nil when the sudden violence erupted. Attempts to
calm down the situation and proceed with the match
proved futile as the spectators continued their
protests despite the additional police presence
called in after the disruption of play. Eventually
the match was called off by referee Priyantha
Gunaratne after a one hour stoppage. The officials
of SLSRFA were left to make a vital decision on the
duration of the match to be replayed. Isipathana had
requested the match be replayed for the full
duration as a fresh game, while St. Peter’s stood
firm in insisting that the replay should be only a
continuation from the point the earlier game was
abandoned with the score standing at 14 points to
nil in favour of St. Peter’s.
“It would have been a bold and gentlemanly
decision if Isipathana school officials rose to the
occasion and punished the culprits then and there.
Or, after failing to do so, they could have done the
correct thing by conceding the win to St. Peter’s.
But the hooligans ultimately emerged winners due to
their top officials not doing the correct thing in
the name of the game. Had the Isipathana officials
done the right thing according to the situation,
today their image would have been at a different
level and rugby lovers would have hailed them. But
they opted for shortcuts and tried to find other
solutions,” Gunaratne who witnessed the entire
After the incident the SLSRFA held an emergency
meeting on July 15 to decide the final outcome and,
in the presence of the disciplinary and organising
committees and officials of both schools, it was
decided to continue the match from the point it was
stopped with the scores at that point standing.
However Isipathana later protested this decision and
made a complaint to the Ministry of Sports. The
Director Ministry of Sports, S. Liyanagama later
issued a letter, stating the match should be played
in full as a new game, to the organising committee
of SLSRFA through the Ministry of Education.
Ultimately the win was awarded to St. Peter’s
last Saturday (July 17) as Isipathana players did
not take the field despite the presence of match
officials and opponents at Longdon Place. Referee
Anura Rankothge who replaced Priyantha Gunaratne as
the main official awarded the win to St. Peter’s
after the Isipathana team refused to take the field
for reasons better known to them. Lasitha Gunaratne
who evidently had gone through the letter issued by
the Ministry of Sport stated that the SLSRFA was
still the offenders for not standing by their
decision which was taken originally with all related
“At any given situation in any sport the
tournament committee decision comes as final. Even
in the SLSRFA guide book it has been stated in black
and white. The players were not involved here and
it’s an injustice to them, as the match was stopped
due to spectator interference. The letter issued by
the Ministry of Sports is just an informative
guideline to the Ministry of Education stating the
rule of the game when such a situation arises. As
some people say it’s not a directive to conduct a
match. In that case the SLSRFA has failed to abide
by their verdict wether it’s right or wrong. What
they (SLSRFA) did not understand is that they are
directly affiliated to the SLRFU and not the
Ministry of Education. There are issues such as
eligibility of school players educationally and the
age restrictions to be taken up to the Ministry of
Education. In this case where the issues of IRB
rules and technical aspects surface, the SLSRFA
should consult the governing body of the sport in
the country which is SLRFU. So far they have not
approached us,” Gunaratne stressed.
Further, according to Gunaratne, the SLSRFA has
committed a grave mistake by not obtaining the
blessings of the governing body of rugby in Sri
Lanka, the SLRFU to conduct the league and knockout
tournaments this year. In addition Gunaratne stated
that SLSRFA had acted according to their own will
when appointing referees for school matches by
sidelining an official request made by SLRFU.
“The SLSRFA has two votes with the SLRFU
according to the constitution. The reason they
failed to inform the SLRFU about their tournaments
is better known to them. But if any other party than
SLRFU conducts or organises a tournament they should
inform the body officially or formally. Conducting
tournaments is not a crime and there are no
restrictions in doing so. It is just a case of
miscommunication,” he added.
Last year the Inter-Schools league rugby tournament
was conducted by SLRFU due to a legal dispute among
the SLSRFA and some schools. This year so far nearly
five schools have gone to the extent of seeking
legal opinion due to loopholes and lack of clear
tournament instructions on certain affairs.
Gunaratne further stressed that the point has come
to streamline the issues into a proper channel.
“It is clear that things are going out of hand
and someone from the top should monitor these
issues. In cases like these, there are a lot of
lapses in the tournament guide book that lead to
arguments. In this particular incident Mr. KAD
Punyadasa, the principal of Isipathana, who is also
the president of SLSRFA has nowhere to go and
complain because if he does so, he has to complain
or apologise to himself either way. As the governing
body of rugby in Sri Lanka, the SLRFU will have to
set the standards by getting involved in school
rugby, in a small way at least, in order to
eradicate possible disputes that may arise in the
coming school seasons.”
Wesley College, Colombo is a
136-year-old school founded in 1874 after Rev.
Daniel Pereira handed over his private school with
35 students to the Methodist Mission at the Mission
premises in Dam Street Pettah.
Twenty eight years later, in 1902, the remarkable
fund-raising efforts of the dynamic principal Rev.
Henry Highfield enabled Wesley to purchase 5 ½ acres
of land at Karlsrhue Gardens Colombo 9, from a
famous lawyer Charles Ambrose Lorensz, and the
school was shifted from Pettah to the new premises
in February 2007.
In its long history Wesley has made a great
contribution to the country in the academic and
sports fields and is a fine example of what a
‘national school’ should be, in the true sense of
the word national, as it caters to students of all
races and religions who study and play together in
peace and harmony.
This week, on Saturday, July 31 the Wesley Walk &
Carnival 2010 will be held and is tipped to be an
event which would sport extraordinary attractions
which would make the event probably the most
extravagant fund-raiser walk organised by a Colombo
The walk will be led by a batch of mini coopers with
a breathtaking display burning rubber, followed by
knights on horseback, with many colourful additions
to make it a carnival on the streets. Most of the
leading schools will participate alongside the
The school together with its many auxiliary
bodies along with students, teachers and parents are
organising the Wesley Walk 2010 appropriately themed
“Walk of Grit.”
The event is well organised and promises to feature
many attractions to add colour to the festivities.
It is expected that along with the 2000 plus student
population, parents, well-wishers and old Wesleyites
will attend the event. An estimated crowd in excess
of 5000 is expected to attend and be involved in the
activities throughout the day’
The carnival will consist of food stalls, trade
stalls, games of skill, entertainment by a Dj, live
performances by popular artists and bands, with fun
and entertainment for the kids.
This even would be an ideal opportunity for the
mercantile sector to activate their marketing
campaigns and benefit from the stalls at the venue.
There is also opportunity for organisations to add
their promo floats or banners to the walk to enhance
brand exposure. You could contact the college office
on the numbers 0112691086 or 0112695763 for further
details and stall reservations.
On the morning of Saturday, July 31 when proud
Wesleyites step out of the school gates on their
‘Walk of Grit’, thousands of “ready ayes will all be
found when Wesley’s call sounds” to take their great
school to greater heights in the future.
|Asoka College wins cricket
The inaugural C. W. W.
Kannangara Triangular Challenge Cricket Tournament
between the teams of Wesley College, C. W. W.
Kannangara College and Asoka College took place on
July 16 and 17 at the Wesley Grounds. Asoka College
did well to emerge champions.
Attorney-at-Law Malagoda, on behalf of the Nadil
Dhusantha Malagoda Aid Foundation, presents the C.
W. W. Kannangara Trophy to the captain of Asoka
|Ram Ratnavale Memorial Cager
Tourney from July 26
The seventh Ram
Ratnavale Memorial Mercantile Knockout Basketball
Tournament conducted by Mercantile Services
Basketball Association will be conducted at the
Otters Basketball Courts from July 26 to August 20.
The tournament is being held in recognition of
Ratnavale’s 25 years of service to the association.
Matches will commence at 6 pm on all days except
Saturdays and Sundays. It will be played in seven
divisions – 5 for men and 2 for women.
|Inter Hotel sports
Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Trans Asia
Hotels PLC, Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo will be
hosting the Colombo hotels to Inter Hotel Sports
Extravaganza, on August 7 and 8.
With the participation of Hotel Galadari, Taj
Samudra, Hilton Colombo, Cinnamon Grand and Ceylon
Continental Hotel and Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, a
cycle marathon, swimming gala, netball, soccer, and
six-a-side cricket tournament are lined up for the
“It is an attempt to nurture sports and take sports
to a different level, besides involving all staff
and improving comradeship among city hotels,”
Consultant Corporate Affairs, Cinnamon Lakeside,
Yasmin Carder said.
Nugegoda U-19 cricket champs
final of the International Schools Under-19 Cricket
Tournament played on July 16, Lyceum International
School, Nugegoda recorded a comfortable 51-run
victory over Royal Institute to emerge champions.
Fourteen schools participated at this tournament
conducted by Gateway College, Colombo.
In the semi-finals Lyceum International School,
Nugegoda beat Gateway College and Royal Institute
beat Lyceum International School, Wattala.
Results of the Final: Lyceum, Nugegoda 162 (39.4)
(Amila Premasara 34, Mustafa Hassanally 31, Kulunu
Rodrigo 3/17, Shehan Hettiarachchi 2/28)
Royal Institute 112 (36.5) (Sashika Ranathunga 25,
Kavin Prasath 19, Ashwin Hanifa 3/10, Abdur Rahaman
Best Batsman: Mustafa Hassanally (Lyceum, Nugegoda)
Man of the Final: Aswin Hanifa (Lyceum, Nugegoda).
Player of the Tournament: Amila Premasara (Lyceum,
|Dharmaloka in hat-trick of
Fast bowlers Shan Iresh and I Kahavita starred
for Dharmaloka Vidyalaya, Kelaniya who recorded
three consecutive wins in the ongoing Inter-School
Under-15 cricket tournament organised by the Sri
Lanka Schools Cricket Association.
- Beat Thurstan by 2 wickets:
Thurstan 97 (32.2) (K Ranatunga 25, B
Samarajeeva 23, I Kahavita 4/23, I Rashmitha
Dharmaloka 98-8 (36.4) (Tharindu Madushanka 24,
I Kahavita 13, Vishwa Sankalpa 3/17, Oshada de
- Beat Asoka Vidyalaya by 7 wickets:
Asoka 52 (38.5) (M Hettiarachchi 20, Shan Iresh
4/10, Ravindu Thivanka 3/1)
Dharmaloka 54-3 (A Manuka 2/20)
- Beat St. Joseph’s Colombo by 8 wickets:
St. Joseph’s 56 (25.4) (Shan Iresh 4/10, I
Dharmaloka 57-2 (I Kahavita 36, MG Sanjeewa
|Ten/10 knockout cricket
The All-island Inter-school Ten/10 knockout Cricket
Tournament organised by the Cricketers’ Parents
Association of Prince of Wales’ College, Moratuwa
for the second consecutive year will be played on
August 6 - 8 at the college grounds commencing 9a.m.
on all three days..
The tournament is sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom
Mobitel for the Jayantha Perera Memorial Challenge
Trophy. In addition to the trophy the winners and
runners-up will be awarded cash prizes.
This year the organisers have made a change to the
rules to make it more attractive. Coloured clothing
and white balls will be in use.
Entries close on July 27 and the draw will be held
on August 1. Further particulars can be obtained
from Anusha (2652030/0716853618) or Sumith
|SJCF prepares for Bangalore
A fine spell of off-spin bowling by Yoshitha
Atukorale (4/16) proved insufficient to bring
victory to Sanath Jayasuriya Cricket Foundation
(SJCF) against Roy Dias Cricket Academy (RDCA) in a
friendly match played over the weekend.
Charith Mihiranga contributed a fighting fifty for
RDCA who won by three wickets.
SJCF did well to record a convincing win in their
first match beating RDCA by 75 runs. Both teams have
a win apiece. These matches are played in
preparation for the tour to Bangalore by SJCF, their
first tour abroad where Jayasuriya himself will be
- 1st match: SJCF beat RDCA by 75 runs
SJCF 175-6 (Y Athukorale 25, B Kumararatne 21, A
Dissanayake 20, D Sumathipala 15)
RDCA 100 (B Kumararatne 3/10, Y Atukorale 2/9, B
- 2nd match: RDCA beat SJCF by 3 wickets.
SJCF 117 (A Dissanayake 30, B Kumararatne 17, B
Perera 18, S Rabukpotha 15, Y Atukorale 10, T
Kavinda 3/13, Pushpika 3/10)
RDCA 120-7 (V Samudhitha 20, C Mihiranga 50, Y
Anjana 23 n.o., Y Atukorale 4/16, B Perera 2/12)
|Zahira rugby sevens
Thirteen school teams will vie for glory in the
third consecutive Zahra 7s Inter-School Under-20
rugby Tournament which will take place on August 1
at the Royal College Sports Complex. The tournament
that has the blessings of Sri Lanka Rugby Football
Union and Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football
Association will feature top-notch teams including
current league champions St. Peter’s and two-time
title defenders Isipathana. The organisers of the
tournament, the Group of 60s of Zahira College,
Colombo held a press briefing last Wednesday (July
21) to officially announce the competition at the
school’s main hall.
“Today we see a vast development of facilities
and techniques in school rugby. Unfortunately some
do not utilise these in the proper manner. During
our days we were coached to play for the ball, not
the man. We honoured our opponents and that taught
us to humbly accept defeat and be joyous in victory.
But today the case is different. We expect true
sportsmanship from all participants of Zahira 7s and
let our showpiece in rugby be a great leveller for
talent,” said the principal of Zahira, TK Azoor.
The Zahira 7s which was inaugurated in 2008 to
celebrate the 85th anniversary of rugby at the
school has been a successful event during the past
two years where Isipathana emerged champions on both
occasions. As during the past, the winning teams in
the Cup, Plate and Bowl and the most outstanding
player of the tournament will receive trophies and
cash rewards. The tournament will commence at 8.00am
on August 1with the finals of each segment to be
played from 4.00pm onwards. Phoenix Industries,
Diamond Food Products and Allied Trading
International have come forward to sponsor the
tournament this year. [MNA]
Teams are grouped as follows:
Group A: Isipathana, CWW Kannangara, Ananda
Group B: Royal Colombo, Piliyandala Central,
Group C: St. Joseph’s, Bandarawela Combined Schools,
Prince of Wales’
Group D: St. Peter’s, Vidyartha, Royal Panadura