David and Goliath – but no slaying expected


The eight captains pose for photographs with the Clifford Cup. The tournament gets underway today at Nittawela with Kandy SC taking on CH & FC.

Special Sports
Correspondent in Kandy


On the last occasion when the champions became over-confident, even arrogant, and benched some of their leading lights, the Air Force taught them a never-to-be-forgotten lesson. Kandy has taken heed of that and will not be making the same mistake when they come up against the CH & FC at their Nittawela fortress today.

Not that precautions are necessary when playing a team they whipped 96-0 in the first round, and 59-3 in the second, despite getting around twelve players to cool off in the Racecourse Pavilion. However team dynamics demand otherwise. Rugby is a team game and it is imperative that the team stays together and plays together. Understanding between forwards and backs is the key. Yet, this does not preclude the possibility of Kandy resting some of their key players in the second-half if some distance has been put between them and the CH by then.

Chairman of the Rugby Committee Lasantha Wijesuriya makes no bones about the fact that winning the Clifford Cup for another year is his objective. Kandy did the triple last season and winning this cup would be the second step towards achieving it again.

Not wishing is "to paint the lily, or gild refined gold". It must be pointed out that the Kandy squad is full to overflowing with talent. After all, Ranjans and Dharmapalas don’t appear every year. Anurudda Wilwara made a reappearance after a two-year lay off and, if fit, he should come into consideration.

The CH who have yet to win a game after fourteen attempts will be helpless in the face of this fire-power. If consolidation is needed, they can look back on their efforts in the match against the Police which they lost 21-26. Ironically Police were just ahead of them in the points table. They scored their highest number of points (23) against the Navy, yet they conceded 81.

There is little or nothing the CH think-tank could do, given the abilities of the players they have. But, if the CH team restrict their rivals to a score of manageable proportions, they would do well. One is inclined to remark ‘easier said than done’.



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