The domestic club rugby tournament produced many interesting moments and upsets this season to create the needed enthusiasm in spectators and make them return to match venues.
“There was equal competition at matches this season which resulted in the return of large crowds to witness matches,” SLRFU Tournament Committee Chairman Lasitha Guneratne told Nation. Guneratne said that this is the interest both the spectators and the sponsor of the league rugby tournament, Dialog, wanted created in the tournament.
Guneratne rated Kandy SC’s comeback in the second round as quite unexpected after the team’s morale denting loss to Air Force in the first round. “If you look at the history of the league, no team that was placed third after round one has emerged as champions after completing its matches in the second round,” he pointed out.
He said that games would be more keenly contested in the seasons to come if there is equal player distribution among clubs. “This could happen in the future,” he opined.
Guneratne added that the introduction of the Television Match Referee (TMO) this season and the contributions made by citing officers had added to the quality of games and how the tournament was conducted.
He said that the citing officials had forwarded evidence of 32 rule violations during matches, out of which four amounted to red cards and the rest to yellow cards. Thirty two law violations not being spotted while the game was on are quite high, and Guneratne questioned as to how the referees missed these offences.
Despite the final round of matches in the tournament to be worked off this weekend, SLRFU authorities confirmed the title would be awarded to Kandy SC. The second place will be decided in the clash between Navy SC and Havelock SC which is scheduled for Sunday at Welisara.