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Schools rugby off with a bang, but black mark on discipline



S. Thomas’ College celebrate winning the Sir Oliver Goonatilake Shield after beating Wesley 19-13 at Mount Lavinia in a traditional game of rugby which was also recognized as a match of the Division 1 Segment A Group 1 category in the inter-school under 19 league rugby tournament. (Pix by Kamal Wanniarachchi)

By Special Correspondent

The inter school under 19 league rugby season started off with a bang this week with the game against Dharmaraja vs Trinity producing a memorable win for the former because the ‘lions’ are such a big name in the sport of rugby union.

Many rugby writers jumped to conclusions far too early this season and termed such a win a shock. They did just that when St. Anthony’s knocked the daylights out of the Josephians with a runaway 22-12 win at Bogambara on June 17 (Saturday). This writer’s argument is that this season is still in its infancy and if the losing sides are considered as favourites so early in the season then the writer is either biased or knows so little about the strengths and weaknesses of most teams.

School rugby is very professional in Sri Lanka and even the coaches are dedicated and educated in rugby union’s latest techniques and training methods; hence all games will be hotly contested and teams would certainly make progress as the season continues.

S.Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia led by centre Viyaan de Silva managed to start the season on a winning note beating Wesley 19-13 ; a feat which enabled the lads from the school by the sea to take home the Sir Oliver Goonatilake Shield which was on offer at the match. The Thomians had an average season last year and like one newspaper quite rightly said in a preview about the school that wears the blue-black jersey it is in search of past glories. One can remember the glorious run S.Thomas’ had from 1989 to 1991, then in year 2000 under Gavin Jayasekare and for the last time under Shawin Kapuwatte when they won the under 20 president’s trophy knockout tournament in 2009. There was one year (2013) when The Thomains were demoted to the B Division, but that year they produced one of their best teams under Devin Jayasinghe and won all their traditional games apart from earning a promotion to the A Division. Much is expected of them this season under the tutelage of coach Shamly Nawaz.

The Royal vs St.Peter’s game produced a cracker at Bambalapitiya with the host team pulling off the game by 11 points to 5. It was shocking to see some of the worst behaviors in school rugby at this game by the players, but fortunately the referee had a decent control of the game till the end. The worst point in the game came when the referee went up to the Royal skipper and gave the warning to him to control his players because there were complaints that Royalists were biting opponents in the scrum and maul situations (video evidence of this is available in social media). There was also footage on social media where a Peterite player was seen landing his knee into a Royal player as he ran into join the rest of the team to celebrate the victory. Peterite old boys have shown much concern in their comments on social media about having discipline at ‘home’ because we’ve never seen the Peterites showing aggression in this manner other than when playing clean hard rugby.

Isipatana are now a different quantity in rugby and play the game more with their forwards than before. We remember those marauding forwards whom they had last season, but the new faces in the side were equal to the challenge and lived up to expectations. Skipper Naveen Kanishka epitomised the true qualities of a skipper and controlled the game with his running and kicking skills on wet and slippery conditions at Bogambara. The winners ran in five glorious tries and led 20 nil at the breather. The beauty in Isipatana rugby is their support play and the very low margin they leave for errors. Coach Saliya Kumara has got a naturally motivate side and it’s interesting to see how they negotiate the bigger challenges that’ll come their way from sides like S.Thomas’, St. Anthony’s and new kids on the block D.S Senanayake who are back in Division 1 Segment A rugby after earning a promotion this season.

Vidyartha did well to open the season with a 26-19 win against Science at Bogambara on June 16 (Friday).

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ODI World Cup 2023 winner to receive USD 4 million in prize money




As in 2019, the winner of this year’s ODI World Cup will be awarded prize money of USD 4 million. The ICC has allocated a total of $10 million for the tournament, which begins on October 5 in Ahmedabad.
Two million dollars have been set aside for the runner-up while the losing semi-finalists can also bank on a sum of $800,000.
The other six teams will exit the competition at the end of the group stages with $100,000 each, which essentially means everyone taking part in the World Cup are assured of this sum of money. The winner of each league match is also assured $40,000.

India qualified by virtue of being hosts while New Zealand, England, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Australia, Afghanistan and South Africa progressed from the 2020-23 ODI Super League. Sri Lanka and the Netherlands came through the qualifying tournament held in June and July 2023.

This World Cup follows a simple round-robin format with all teams playing against each other for a total of 45 league matches. The top four will qualify for the semi-finals, to be played in Mumbai on November 15 and in Kolkata on November 16. The semi-finals and the final will have reserve days.

The defending champions England and the runner-up in 2019 New Zealand will kick off the competition in two weeks’ time. The hosts, India, will begin their campaign against five-time winners Australia on October 8 and then build up to the group stage’s marquee clash with Pakistan on October 14. The matches are spread across 46 days and 10 cities with the final scheduled on November 19 in Ahmedabad.

After the recent ICC decision to offer equal prize money for both men’s and women’s events, this sets the precedent for the next Women’s World Cup in 2025.


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Priyadharshani’s four-for the highlight as Sri Lanka cruise into Asian Games semis




Inoshi Priyadharshani picked up 4 for 10 (Cricinfo)
Inoshi Priyadarshani’s career-best returns of 4 for 10 backed up by a quick 32 from Anushka Sanjeewani helped Sri Lanka brush aside Thailand by eight wickets and advance to the semi-finals of the Asian Games in Hangzhou.

Chasing 79 in the rain-reduced 15-overs-a-side quarter-final, Sri Lanka coasted to a win in 10.5 overs. Rain and a wet outfield had delayed the start of the game by close to an hour-and-a-half. Once the weather cleared, Sri Lanka opted to field under grey skies.

Udeshika Prabodhani found some movement in the air, but it was Priyadharshani who inflicted the early damage, accounting for four of the first five wickets to fall. She struck twice in her first over – the second of the innings – dismissing Suwanan Khiaoto and Natthakan Chantham. In her next over, she removed Nannapat Koncharoenkai before accounting for Naruemol Chaiwai with a smart caught and bowled.

At 37 for 6, Thailand were sinking rapidly but a 29-run stand between Chanida Sutthiruang and Phannita Maya arrested the slide a touch. Sutthiruang top-scored with an unbeaten 31 and was the only batter to get into double-digits as Thailand managed to reach 78 for 7 in 15 overs.

Chamari Athapaththu and Sanjeewani then made light work of the chase. They brought up their 50 partnership in the sixth over before Thipatcha Putthawong accounted for Athapaththu, who top edged a slog sweep.

Putthawong also removed Sanjeewani but the damage had been done by then. Thailand were not helped by their ground fielding; they committed a number of mis-fields and dropped chances. Harshitha Samarawickrama closed the game in the 11th over with a pull over deep square leg.

Sri Lanka will face Pakistan in the second semi-final on Sunday.

Brief scores:
Sri Lanka 84 for 2 (Chamari Athapaththu 27, Anushka Sanjeewani 32, Harshitha Samarawickrema 14*; Thipatcha  Putthawong 2-21) beat Thailand 78 for 7 (Chanida Sutthiruang 31; Inoshi  Priyadharshani 4-10, Sugandika Kumari 1-13, Chamari Athapaththu 1-13, Kavisha Dilhari 1-14) by eight wickets

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France rout Namibia 96-0 in Rugby World Cup match




France captain Antoine Dupont was forced off in the second half with an injury to his face during the Pool A rout of Namibia (pic BBC)

France are on the brink of reaching the World Cup quarter-finals after claiming their biggest-ever win with a 96-0 victory over Namibia in Pool A.

Damian Penaud scored a hat-trick, while Jonathan Danty, Charles Ollivon and Louis Bielle-Biarry all scored twice.

Antoine Dupont, Thibaud Flament, Baptiste Couilloud and Melvyn Jaminet also crossed before a penalty try took their total tally to 14 in Marseille.

The only French cause for concern was the loss of Dupont to injury. The hosts’ captain was withdrawn during the second half following a head-on-head tackle by Johan Deysel, whose yellow card was upgraded to a red by the bunker-review system.

France head coach Fabien Galthie’s decision to keep his talisman on the field despite his side’s huge 54-point half-time advantage could be scrutinised if Dupont’s injury keeps him on the sidelines with the knockout stages looming.


France: Ramos; Penaud, Fickou, Danty, Bielle-Biarry; Jalibert, Dupont; Baille, Mauvaka, Atonio; Woki, Flament; Cros, Ollivon, Jelonch.

Replacements: Bourgarit, Wardi, Aldegheri, Taofifenua, Boudehent, Couilloud, Moefana, Jaminet.

Namibia: Van der Bergh; Mouton, Deysel, Burger, Greyling; Loubser, Theron; Sethie, Van der Westhuizen, Coetzee, Tjeriko, Ludick, Katjijeko, Retief, Gaoseb.

Replacements: Nortje, Benade, Shifuka, Van Lill, Hardwick, Blaauw, Izaacs, Rossouw.

Referee: Matthew Carley (England)

(BBC Sports)

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