Rugby the biggest loser
Isipathana refuse to play disrespecting ruling by schools rugby authority
Schools rugby suffered a cruel blow unprecedented in its history as Isipathana refused to take the field and play their semi final Milo trophy knock-out tournament match against League champions and favourites St. Peter’s College at Longden Place on Saturday.
The match was to be a continuation as declared by the sport’s governing body the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA) after it was disrupted by some stone-throwing Isipathana supporters three days before.
Interestingly the SLSRFA is headed by Isipathana principal Punyadasa Kuruppu who endorsed the ruling of his Disciplinary and Tournament Committee to play the match as a continuation with the Peterites leading 14-0.
For reasons beat known to them Isipathana wanted to play the match anew citing a ruling by the Sports ministry which was not granted by the SLSRFA.
With the Peterite team waiting on the field to honour the ruling of the SLSRFA for 20 minutes, the Isipathanians failed to turn up thus empowering referee Anura Rankothge to award the result to the former who will now meet Royal in Friday’s final.
Several fair-minded old boys of Isipathana said it was a ‘tragic day” for rugby at Isipathana and blamed a controversial old boy who they said was having a ‘negative bearing” on the progress of rugby at the school.
“This man has become bigger than the game and that’s where the problem lies. We would have lost any way but the game must go on and this is what players train hard for” said one Isipathana old boy who represented Sri Lanka and declined to be involved in the muddle.