Dharmaraja (Div I B)
Brilliant rugby payers sometimes don’t make good coaches. This wasDharmaraja’s experience last season. After five losses, the reins were handedover to former Army, Havelocks, Kandy and Sri Lankafull back Nimal Wijesiri. Hey presto! The winless streak was replaced by asixty percent success rate.
Wijesiri who played for the country under Priyantha Ekanayake, AsokaJayasena, Nazim Mohamed and Jude Pillai, also followed a nine month coachingcourse in Wales.It could be said that he has what it takes to be a good coach.
Even though the Rajans will be minus four players, the coach feels thatthe team is balanced and better than last year. The forwards are experiencedand heavy, while the back division is good. Basically, this is the side thatwon the under-18 ten-a-side tournament in 2010. More recently, the Rajans edgedout rivals Kingswood by two points to triumphat the schools rugby sevens.
The skipper, winger Miyuru Hewawasam, quick off the mark and slipperyas an eel is a tower of strength to the side. Not for behind in terms ofperformance and potential is the Rajan number eight Lochana Ekanayake. Thesetwo stalwarts represented the country at the Commonwealth Youth RugbyChampionships held in the Isle of Man in 2011.
Bhuvaneka Udangamuwe, a fourth year player like his skipper, is quickoff the mark and difficult to catch in full flight. The Rajans have a number ofthird year players such as Lochana Ekanayake, Rochana Hettiarachchi, TilinaWijesinghe, Rukmal Dissanaike, Lahiru Fernando and Wasaba Bandara.
Last year’s lack of success has seen the Rajans plummet to segment B.They have certainly set the alarm bells ringing by decimating Carey 82-0 intheir first game.
Subodha Kalupe who captained the college in 1993 is the AssistantCoach. NPK Herath is the trainer, while Saliya Alexander is the hands-on masterin charge. The Principal S.M. Keerthiratne follows the fortunes of the teamvery keenly.
Props – Rukmal Dissanaike, Wasabha Bandara, Dilaksha Weerakoon, GiyanJayasinghe, Nalaka Kumara.
Hooker – Kalinga Charunga, Dilantha Hiyarapitiya.
Locks – Vihanga Nawalage, Lochana Fernando, Ishanka Manamperi.
Flankers – Anjana Weeraratne, Janaka Wijesinghe, Gakita Dassanaike,Tilina Kariawasam.
Number 8 – Lochana Ekanayake, Pasan Bandara
Scrum Half – Dilantha Madushanka, Heshan Pilapitiya, Osanga Priyanjana.
Fly Half – Rochana Hettiarachchi, Ishanka Wimalasuriya
Centres – Bhuvaneka Udangamuwe, Malinda Herath, Tharuka Wickremanayake,Thanindu Kulawansa, Sahan Wijesiri, Gimhana, Samarakoon.
Wingers – Miyuru Hewawasam (Capt), Lahiru Fernando, Janaka Biyanwala,Charles Vimukthi
Full Back – Thilina Wijesinghe, Baharatha Samarakoon