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HSBC A5N Rugby kicks off in Sri Lanka

The HSBC Asian 5 Nations Rugby Tournament (A5N), representing the highest level of international rugby in Asia is scheduled to kick off in Sri Lanka on the 23 April 2011. Sri Lanka, being among the top 5 countries competing for the prestigious HSBC A5N title, will take on the UAE and Hongkong at the CR&FC grounds.

HSBC is a long-term supporter of rugby in Asia and is equally passionate to promote competitive rugby in Sri Lanka, build strong synergy and empower all players to reach the ultimate goal of qualifying for the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

Commenting on HSBC’s A5N sponsorship, Nick Nicolaou, Chief Executive Officer HSBC Sri Lanka and Maldives and a ruggerite himself said, “We are indeed happy to sponsor a game that helps support our vision and values and bring the brand to life through the excitement and shared passion of rugby. Being the world’s local bank, HSBC recognises how rugby can help bring people from different backgrounds, communities and cultures together and we are committed to helping this long term goal by growing rugby from the current standing to the highest level”.

The HSBC Group has had varied rugby sponsorships around the world. These include the IRB Sevens World Series, new Asian Sevens Series, British and Irish Lions, the Waratahs Super 15 team in Australia, the Penguin International Coaching Academy and the Cobra 10s tournament in Malaysia.

A former representative of Sri Lanka Rugby at the Hongkong Sevens Rugby tournament, Sriyan Cooray, Chief Technology and Services Officer of HSBC said “Apart from sponsoring the Asian 5 Nations (A5N) rugby tournament and the CR&FC rugby team in Sri Lanka for the third consecutive year, HSBC has shown great enthusiasm in this sport. The Bank has a versatile rugby team, that includes several of the best local players such as Ashean Karthelis representing Sri Lanka and Zulker Hameed, Anojan Balasunderam, Zalique Jaayah, Azmil Omar and Ashoka Gunawardane all representing various prestigious clubs in Colombo. Needless to say, we are very much committed to the development of this sport and keen to see that it reaches its pinnacle”.

The HSBC Asian 5 Nations tournament offers a much needed opportunity for national teams to play competitive Rugby at the top level, with an underlying commitment to growing participation in countries and territories across Asia.

The tournament is made up of six individual divisions with 26 countries taking part, and each year one team is promoted and one team is relegated from each division with the Top 5 nations competing for the prestigious title of HSBC A5N Champions.



Written by Risitha Peiris
Hits: 140

In a Press Conference held on the 23rd of February 2011 at the SLRFU headquarters in Reid Avenue, the Chief Executive Officer of Chevron Lubricants Lanka PLC Mr. Kishu Gomes   announced that Caltex Lanka will be sponsoring Sri Lankan Rugby for the next 3 year.

He also said that with this renewal of the partnership they will be creating history as no other company in Sri Lanka has sponsored any sport for so many years continuously. On Behalf of the SLRFU Air Chief Marshal Rohan Goonetileke the president of the SLRFU signed the agreement and said that he will be looking forward to work with Caltex in the years to come.

Commander Gunatilake conducted the meeting and Vice President Lasitha Gunartne announced that the Caltex League will be kicked off in the 1st week of June, a week after Sri Lanka’s Asian 5nation’s match played against Japan.

The Club season will be ended before September as Sri Lanka will be taking part in Shanghai7’s  scheduled from 4-7th September and it will be a IRB ranking tournament.

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Sevens title for Havies

Havelocks Sports Club clinched the Western Province Open Sevens rugby title with a smashing 34 points (2 goals, 4 tries) to nil victory over Petersons SC in the Cup Championship final played at Havelock Park after leading 17 nil at the breather.
Ruwan Suranga (2), Ruchira Ratnage (1), Ranjan Beddage (1), Chanaka Fonseka (1) and Claude de Silva (1) scored the tries for Havelocks SC of which two were converted by Sajith Bandara.
Havelocks SC overcame Jawatte Lions SC in the semifinal while Petersons SC overcame ANC in the other semifinal. Ranjan Beddegama of Havelocks SC was named as the most outstanding player of the tournament. Jawatte Lions won the Plate Trophy beating ANC 19-10 in the final.
Moratuwa University won the Bowl Trophy beating Old Wesleyites SC in the final. National Development Bank took the Shield with a convincing 31-5 win over Kelaniya University.
Havelocks SC received a cash award of Rs. 100,000 and a trophy.

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Caltex Clifford Cup final:

A keen tussel on the cards

S. M. Jiffrey ABDEEN Kandy Sports correspondent
A bruising battle is in store when the defending champions Kandy Sports Club take on the challengers Sri Lanka Navy in the final of the Caltex Clifford Cup rugby match to be played at the Bogambara stadium on Sunday at 4.30 p.m.
This match is going to be crucial to Kandy Sports Club as they will be put to acid test to prove their dominance of the Clifford Cup which they have won for a record 16 times against a fast improved or much improved Navy side who have turned out to be the giant killers this season having beaten the two top clubs the CR & FC and the Kandy Sports Club this season.
When these two teams met in the league tournament the Sailors won the first round winning by a single point but Kandy avenged this defeat winning the return game 28-16. This only is an indication that the home ground plays an important role in the performance of a team.
Kandy Sports Club have twice lost to Navy in the last couple of years. The return match of last year and the first game of this year both by the identical margin of a single point.
A rugby analyst and former Sri Lanka wing forward who wished to remain anonymous said that Kandy's problems stems from the fact they do not tackle hard especially when their opponents had got their acts together and this results in the flow of points for their opponents.
Drop goals are virtual gifts to the opponents and this must be stopped and could only stopped if the two flankers are quick and hard on their tackles of course the legal way. If this happens the fly halves will not have time to execute drop goals and will resort to kicking without losing possession. These are two salient points Kandy should bear in mind when they take the field, he said.
Kandy Sports Club will go into this match without two of their regulars the two fast breaking flankers Dilip Selvam who is injured and also Sajith Saranga who was sent off during the last match and faces a two week suspension. Another flanker Shashika Jayawardena is also in the injured list. Former Kingswoodian Arvinda Udangamuwa will play as flanker while Buddhi Talagampola will move into the second row.
On the brighter side centre Gayan Weeraratne has recovered from his shoulder injury and is fit to play and this will see a very strong set of centre three quarters in Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Anuruddha Willawara or Gayan Weeraratne, Chamara Withanage and Mohammed Sheriff. Also on the bench in case of emergency will be Mohammed Jabbar and Dharshana Ettipola with Chathuranga Prasad too capable of fitting into these positions.
Sri Lanka Navy are a set of fighters and their hard play and bruising tackles is their forte.
In stand off Dev Anand they have good place kicker and a drop goal expert who turn the game in their way with his drop goals without penetrating their opponents defence.
This match is going to be a very close game and red hot rugby is in store for the rugby fans at the Bogambara Stadium this Sunday. There has been a change in the weather conditions in the hill capital as on Wednesday night there was a heavy shower breaking a week's drought. There was rain on Thursday morning too.
Ronnie Ibrahim is also the rugby coach of the Navy team and he has done an excellent job in moulding them into a fighting outfit and the team has risen to great heights bringing them back to an era of pristine glory.

The probable teams:

Kandy Sports Club: Kishore Jehan, Anuranga Walpola, Eranga Swarnatillake, Senaka Bandara, Buddhika Talagampola, Kasun de Silva, Arvinda Udangamuwa, Sean Wijesinghe (No. 8), Roshan Weeraratne and Fazil Marija (Captain), Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Pradeep Liyanage, Gayan Weeraratne, Chamara Withanage, Anuruddha Willawara, Mohammed Sheriff, Saliya Kumara. Prasad Chathuranga, Mohammed Rizvan, Achala Perera, Mohammed Jabbar, Kasun Yasaisuru.
Navy SC (from) Piumal Manchanayake, Hamza Hassan, Suranga Swarnatillake, Kalana Amerasinghe, Sumedha Malawana (Captain), Rohitha Rajapaksa, Yoshitha Rajapaksa, Namal Rajapaksa, Suranga Pushpakumara and Dev Anand, Nuwan Hettiarachchi, Chula Susantha, Dilip Methruwan, Samantha Lakshan, Eranda Weerakkody, Ransiri Peiris, Duminda Pullikuttiarachchi, Manjula Ruwantillake, Gayashan Wijesinghe, Tyronne Harrison, Niranjan Wickremaratne, Kosala Tissera, Shilendra Chandrasekera.

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Clifford Cup All Set For Kick-off


First Winners, Havelocks, Backs Out

By Hafiz Marikar
Now that the Caltex League is over and the trophy safely deposited in the Nittawela                    clubhouse it is time to kick off the country’s oldest rugby tournament, the Clifford Cup.
However the championship has got off to a sad start with the inaugural champions Havelock Sports Club, one time kings of the game, backing out of the tournament for reasons better known to the park club, which ended the Caltex League at the bottom of the table.
The Clifford Cup was introduced to clubs as the first ever inter club championship in 1950.
However the Clifford Cup came into action in 1911, and next year it will be 100 years.  The first game was played September 2 of that year.The Clifford Cup was presented by Lady Clifford, wife of Governor Sir Hugh Clifford for a match on her birthday – August 26, 1911, between All Ceylon and the Kandy United Services. This match took place a week later on September 2.
In the first outing United Services Kandy beat All Ceylon by 25 points to 0; in the following year, on September 2, 1912 All Ceylon beat United Services Kandy by 8 points to nil; and in 1913 Kandy United Services again beat All Ceylon 3-0. The Clifford Cup was suspended during World War I and did not restart until 1926, when The Ceylonese first came into it.
In 1926 Low Country beat Kandy United Services 14-3, 1927 Up-Country beat Ceylonese 11-8, 1928 Up-Country beat Ceylonese 15-1, 1929 Low Country beat United services 23-3, 1930 Low Country beat Ceylonese 14-3, 1931 Low Country beat Ceylonese 27-6, 1932 Up-Country beat United Services 14-10, 1933 Up-Country beat Kandy United Services 20-3, 1394 Low Country beat Ceylonese 17-0, 1935, Up-Country beat Kandy United Services 11-0, 1936 Low Country beat Kandy United Services 9-3, 1937 Up-Country beat Kandy United Services 25-0, 1938 Up-Country beat Ceylonese 10-0,  1939 match was cancelled with commencement of World War II and the championship did not resume until 1950. Then the competition for the cup was reorganised with matches being played among the clubs.
When Clifford Cup was introduced to clubs, the first to scrum down were   CR & FC, CH & FC, Havelock SC, Kandy SC, Dimbulla A & CC, Dickoya MCC, KV and Uva.Kandy Sports Club has won the Clifford Cup the most number of times - 16, CR & FC 13 times including a tie with Dimbulla A & CC, Havelock SC 12 times including a tie with Police SC, Police SC 8 times – with ties with Havelocks SC and Army SC, CH & FC 8 times, Dimbulla A & CC twice including a tie with CR & FC, Army twice with a tie with Police, Ai r Force once.
In the inaugural year the tournament kicked off with a league competition. The first game was played on April 29 and the competition ended on July 29 with Havelocks SC becoming the first champions.    The curtain raiser was between CR & FC and Dickoya MCC.  This game was kicked off at Darawella grounds. Dickoya side led by D.A. Cook beat CR & FC led by Archibald Perera, which game was refereed by J.M. Stewart.The champion Havelock SC led by Ian Labrooy went through the tournament without having their line crossed. Similarly the Dimbulla A & CC comprising of some of the top players in the country, maintained an unbeaten record at their home grounds, Radella, until the game against Havelocks SC.
It is said that this was the best match ever to be witnessed at Radella.  By virtue of their 13 points, two goals and a try to nil victory over the Dimbulla A & CC, Havelocks SC became the first inter club Clifford Cup league champions.  At the end of the league Havelocks SC gained 14 points in seven outings, two points ahead of the nearest rival CH & FC. CH & FC had the distinction of notching up the highest score of the season when they beat Dimbulla 41 points to   nil in Colombo.

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Jayasekera heads the New Rugby Selection committee

By Shamseer Jaleel

Sri Lanka Rugby Football Union (SLRFU) appointed their National Selectors who will have loads of work to be done from next month onwards. The Head of the committee would be former Thomian, Havelocks and Sri Lanka centre Michael Jayasekera. Jayasekera, an outstanding ruggerite turned out for S. Thomas’ in 1976 and ‘77 and later represented Havelocks from ‘77 to ‘83. He represented the country from 1977-1981.
The rest of the members comprise from Former Trinity, Air Force and Sri Lanka Scrum Half Tikiri Marambe, and Former Trinity, Kandy SC and Double International (Basket Ball and Rugby) Pradeep Basnyake, Former Petrite CH and FC and Sri Lanka winger Chandrishan Perera and Former Thomian, CR and FC and Sri Lanka third row forward Savantha de Saram.
They will sit in to select the Under 20 Youth team for the Junior Asiad which will take place in Thailand from August 21-28. Further Imthisam Marikkar was appointed as the national sevens coach with Mothilal Jayatilleke as the Physical Trainer.
Sanath Martis was re- appointed as the Under 20 head coach for his hard work and the huge success with St. Peter’s. Appointment of assistant coach is yet to be made. But it is very likely that Kingswood coach Nilufer Ibrahim would retain his place after the success shown during last year’s Junior Asiad in Hong Kong where the side ended third out of 12 teams.

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