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Three-peat for all blacks

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by Rajitha Ratwatte

The third leg of the Bledisloe Cup and a game which will be counted for the rugby championship to be played between four countries from the southern hemisphere Argentina, Australia, South Africa, and New Zealand kicked off in Perth, WA. A day game under hot conditions foreign to the New Zealanders. Furthermore three of the best players in the All-Black lineup Ritchie Mo’uanga, Aaron Smith, and the skipper Sam Whitelock staying at home for personal family reasons. Ardie Savea captaining the team was a proud moment for Pacifica players.

All three Barret brothers starting for the ABs alongside Brad Webber in the number nine shirt with T.J. Peranara on the bench. Damon Murphy the referee. The Kiwis chose to take the first two penalties they were awarded and went into a 6–0 lead inside the first five minutes. Beauden Barret was back in the no10 jersey, and we began to see more kicking than was customary when Mo’uanga was the incumbent. A great left-footed grubber from Baudie was picked up by Will Jordan who passed to Brad Webber who was able to send Jordie Barret off on a sixty-meter plus run to score the first ABs try under the posts. 13–0 inside 20 minutes of play.

In the 28th minute, an absolutely ridiculous red card was dished out to Jordie Barret for what was deemed to be a dangerous kick to the side of Marika Korobeit’s head when Jordie was collecting a high ball. An Oscar-winning performance from the “injured party” combined with the TMO deciding very early that it was a deliberate kick gave the on-field ref no chance to make a judgment. Jordie was off for 20 minutes as the new rule decrees. After 20 minutes another player can be brought on, but the red-carded player is done for the game. The Wallabies failed to take any advantage from the superior numbers they had on the field, and it was the ABs who scored just before halftime off a rolling maul with David Havili who had a great game joining the maul from no12 and scoring. Beauden Barret missed the kick as he did every other kick, he took in the game completing a below-par performance as a placekicker. 18–0 was the halftime score.

It was only after the sides were back at 15 each in the 48th minute, with Damian Mackenzie coming in at full-back that McDermott the Aussie scrum-half made one of his characteristic darting runs and set Fainga’a over mid-left for a seven pointer. 18–7. In the 54th minute, Akira Ioane playing at number six made the first of three fantastic runs along the touchline and Will Jordan strolled over the line mid-right to take the score to 23–7 when Barret missed again. 60 minutes into the game David Havili made an intercept off a Wallaby long pass well inside AB territory, ran the full length of the field hotly pushed by the Aussie no12 Karevi who managed an ankle tap but it was too late as the momentum generated by Havili allowed him to stagger over the line mid-left. Barret missed again and the score stood at 28-7. An impressive-looking Wallaby bench came on after the 60th minute and Nick White subbed on at number nine was promptly able to score under the posts off a good run by Pete Samu, also off the bench. 28-14 and the Aussie commentators thought they were in with a chance. The spectators were treated to some great sevens-style rugby with play going from one side of the field to the other. Akira Ioane featured again with his brother Rieko also able to use his great speed to good effect. Anton Lennert- Brown that ever so reliable midfielder benefitted and scored in the 68th minute. The kicking woes continued with Damien Mackenzie who was given the ball also missing the attempt at goal taking the score to 38–14. The irrepressible T.J. Peranara broke through but realising that he lacked the speed to cover the length of the field in front of him, kicked cross-field and George Bridge picked up and scored mid-left. Mackenzie missed again and the score read 38–14. The Wallabies were not done and some good work from Nick White in the dying moments of the game saw Tom Banks who always does a tidy job at number 15 score under the posts.

The final score read 38-21 to the New Zealanders completing the first of four matches they will be playing over the next few weeks in Australia during the rugby championship.

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Chameera and Hasaranga to miss Oman T-20s due to IPL

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by Rex Clementine

Sri Lankan cricketers Dushmantha Chameera and Wanindu Hasaranga will miss Sri Lanka’s tour of Oman next month due to their IPL commitments. The two Sri Lankans are with Royal Challengers Bangalore and they have been given clearance to remain with the franchise till 10th October.

Sri Lanka coach Mickey Arthur told The Island he had no issues in the players missing the two games in Oman.

“It’s a great opportunity for them and I have not raised any objections. They will join the team on the 10th of October and be ready for the first warm-up game on the 12th of October,” Arthur said.

The IPL was suspended in May due to the rise of COVID cases within the bubble with still 31 matches remaining. The tournament will resume in UAE on Sunday and will finish on the 15th of October, just before the ICC T-20 World Cup.

Sri Lanka will play two T-20 Internationals in Oman on the 7th and 9th of October and then travel to UAE to play warm-up games ahead of the World Cup. The two players are expected to join the team in UAE.

RCB have seven games left in the competition and will take on Kolkata Knight Riders on Monday. Their last league game is on the 8th October.

RCB are currently third in the table with ten points behind Delhi Capitals and Chennai Super Kings.

If they make the plays offs, the tournament will go beyond 10th October. If necessary, RCB will ask clearance from SLC to have them in the franchise set up and the board is unlikely to object as Sri Lanka’s first game in the World Cup is on the 18th of October. The IPL final is scheduled on the 15th of October.

No Sri Lankan had been picked for this year’s IPL at the start of the season, but after Australian leg-spinner Adam Zampa and left-arm quick Daniel Sams pulled out, the franchise signed up the two Sri Lankans for the remainder of the competition. Both Chameera and Hasaranga had done well when India visited Colombo for a bilateral series last month.

Meanwhile, SLC has agreed to a request by the national selection panel to carry five additional players to UAE in case of injuries. Kusal Perera is doubtful for the World Cup and Lahiru Madushanka has been ruled out. SLC will bear the additional costs for the extra players.

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CFSL ready to organize its biggest Online Chess Championship 

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Western Asian Youth Chess Championship 2021 

Sri Lanka has the luxury of fielding a World Champion in their team when the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka (CFSL) organizes the Western Asian Online Youth Chess Championships from 18 to 20 September on the Tornelo Platform.

Ferguson High School, Ratnapura player Oshini Devindya Gunawardena, who won the Under-10 title of the FIDE Online Youth Chess Cup 2021 recently, is among some 300 participants fielded by Sri Lanka.

Luxman Wijesuriya, the president of the Chess Federation of Sri Lanka said that his federation was ready to organize the biggest Asian Online Event, the Western Asian Online Youth Chess Championships and the event which is conducted by the Asian Chess Federation has attracted more than 1000 players from 14 Western Asian Countries.

The event open for girls and boys will be held under six age categories, namely, the Under 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18. The Asian Chess Federation has categorized, South Asia, Arab and Russian-speaking countries of Asia as Western Asian Countries. More than 1000 players from the region have fielded their entries to participate in the event.

India has fielded the biggest contingent of 378 players while Sri Lanka field more than 300 players. Iran has entered a team of 161 players. Other countries registered for participation are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Oman, Kuwait, Palestine, Jordan and UAE. One player is joining under FIDE, the World Chess Federation flag.

Sri Lanka team includes players who excelled at recently held online competitions and at the CFSL Online Youth Chess Championship 2021.

The Championships will be conducted on the Swiss System in nine rounds, having three games a day. The Newly approved FIDE Online Chess regulations will be followed and the time control will be 15 minutes a side with 10 seconds increment for each and every move played. Only the laptop/desktop computers are allowed to be used while all games will be closely monitored by the arbiters via zoom. Players will be switching on two cameras during the competition. According to CFSL one camera (Webcam) will monitor the player while the other will observe his or her surroundings.

The Virtual Opening Ceremony will be held at 11.00 a.m via Zoom on Saturday. Namal Rajapakse, the Minister of Sports is expected to participate as the Chief Guest with Sheikh Sultan Bin Khalifa Al Nehyan, the President of Asian Chess Federation.

The CFSL will be awarding attractive cash rewards to the Sri Lankan players who win medals of any colour.

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Wheelchair tennis team to leave for World Team Cup on Saturday 

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The Sri Lanka Wheelchair Tennis team led by Tokyo Paralympian Suresh Dharmasena will leave for the World Team Cup on Saturday.

The BNP Paribas World Team Cup is the premier team competition for Wheelchair Tennis with four qualifiers and two wildcards joining the top ten teams in the world for the 16 nation competition being held in Sardinia, Italy.

Great Britain, France, Japan, Argentina, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, USA, Korea Rep. and Brazil are the top ten teams.

When the Team Cup qualification event was held in May, Sri Lanka beat Croatia 3-0 in the quarter-finals to be in the last four alongside Israel, Greece and Poland but was beaten by Israel in the semi finals.

In the qualifying event Gamini Dissanayake beat Croatia’s Sven Maretic 6-0, 6–2, while Suresh Dharmasena beat Anto Joskic 6-2, 6-0, before joining Lasantha Ranaweera to oust Anto Joskic and Sven Maretic 6-0, 6-0 in the doubles.

The World Team Cup will be held from October 4-10.

The Sri Lanka Tennis Association said that the team were engaged in final preparations at Green Path, ahead of their departure to Europe. The team comprising of Suresh Dharmasena (ITF Rank #64), DM Gamini (#81) Lasantha Ranaweera (#85) have been undergoing specialist training under coaches Jagath Welikala and Guyanga Weerasekera since July.

The Wheelchair Tennis Program is a project run by the Sri Lanka Tennis Association initiated in 2002. The project is overseen by the President of SLTA Iqbal bin Issack, General Secretary Pradeep Goonasekera, VP Wheelchair Tennis Major General Shiran Abeysekera and principal sponsor Colombo International Container Terminals (CICT).

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