Science College rugby pool | Pix by Pradeep Dambarage

The rugby players of Science College Mount Lavinia can’t look back and relax by thinking of past laurels. True, they won the under 20 schools rugby knockout tournament last season (2015). This win had so much of an impact on the school that there was a tremendous increase in the number of students wanting to enroll in the classes for year 1 this year. And don’t be surprised to hear that most of the parents had inquired whether the school had plans to conduct rugby sessions for these new entrants.

If a person looks at the performances of these players on the field, the inclination will be to assume that rugby at Science College is a well-oiled machine. This is not so. They have no place to train at present and have to rent out the Air Force ground in Ratmalana for a pricey fee. Rugby budgets keep skyrocketing each year and there is a limit a less affluent institute like Science College can do to keep rugby alive at the school. The team’s head coach L.M Amila Chathuranga told Nation that everyone, including The Rugby Support Group involved with the sport, makes his contributions lavishly due to the fact of being  aware that ‘Science College is there due to its rugby’.

This season is going to be hard with seven seniors out from last season’s side, which finished fourth in the league tournament. But the good news, according to Chathuranga, is that the senior pool is constantly fed with promising players graduating from the junior levels. Science College doesn’t believe in poaching players from other schools.

He said he loves to see mischievous kids in the classrooms try their luck at rugby. These negative energies are then channeled to sport. Chathuranga is one of the first to express happiness when the ruffian like mentality is transformed to the mindset of a soldier. He is a coach who believes in discipline.

Reflecting on the season just begun, Chathuranga said that he knew his boys would beat St. Peter’s College. Wins against the Peterites (13-10) and St. Anthony’s (40-28) spell a fabulous start, but upcoming fixtures against Dharmaraja, Kingswood and Isipathana suggest that the team of officials comprising (Ronnie Ibrahim/Consultant), Rajitha Lasantha (trainer) and A.P Jayasuriya (MIC) together with skipper Nirosh Udayanga have to work extra hours to keep Science rugby on a high.