28 October, 2020

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Abuse Of Rugby Referees: What Happened At The Rugby Sevens Was Not Acceptable By Any Stretch Of Imagination

By Arthur Fernandez

Arthur Fernandez

The future of any sport lies in the strength of the junior game. In rugby, the cradle without a doubt is the school rugby that feeds on to club rugby and then to the National level. Thus, it is important that at this level we get the basics right. It starts with the imparting of the necessary skills by qualified coaching staff who have a passion to deal with and nurture youngsters. All up-to-date rules of the game must be followed and enforced at this level. The quality of the refereeing must also keep pace and introduction of basic technology is a must.

Sadly at present, we lack some of these basic prerequisites. The various coaching staff must also be taught to accept the decision of the referee and following on, the spectators cannot be permitted to take the law into their own hands when decisions don’t go their way. The media must also play its role in fair, fearless and unbiased reporting despite their various political or school affiliations. Thus what happened at the SLRFU sponsored rugby sevens was not acceptable by any stretch of imagination and what happened after the Science vs. Peterite game was distasteful as well. Two such incidents in a span of six days, is absolute sacrilege.

Constructive criticism is a valuable tool, provided there is no underlying ulterior motive, and it helps in the development of the person and the game / organisation. The recipient will accept the criticism, when the credibility of the person dishing out the advice is beyond doubt, and the intentions are not personal in nature. Thus the incident after the Science vs. Peterite game was poor on many counts. The language used on the match officials belonged in the gutter and the veiled threat indicating that “we sorted one referee out the week before and we will sort out this referee this week” was akin to what happens in a failed state where there is a total breakdown in basic law and order. If such incidents continue, it will only be a matter of time before the top quality referees in our country will stay away from the game and only the second best who are willing to bear the brunt of such gutter language will undertake to officiate at a game. The schools rugby union needs to stand up and take notice, before this deteriorates further and we reach a point of no return.

The Science vs. Peterite game dished out some fast and open rugby, no doubt aided by the prevalent cloud cover. Science ran the ball wide on every single occasion and found the Peterite defence lacking and with a great unwillingness to tackle. The Petes missed numerous tackles and Science cashed in with glee. The ball handling skills of Science was great, as was their support play and their kicks ahead were with vision and purposeful. The Petes on the other hand were clumsy in their moves, indecisive on most occasions and the forwards slow to the breakdown point and looked a beaten side at the end of the first half.  The second half saw them play with greater purpose and the fact that were able to snatch a match winning try on the stroke of full time was a result of some individual brilliance as opposed to team work. It was pretty gut wrenching for the Science lads to be beaten in the last minute of the game as they had dominated proceedings for almost the entire length of the game. The man of the match to my mind was the omnipresent Science No. 8. His appetite for honest hard work, skills exhibited at reading the game in attack and defence was a treat to watch. Science did not deserve to lose this game and the controversial try scored by the Petes in the dying moments of the game will continue to haunt them.   The referee on the day was poor in his handling of the game. On numerous occasions both sets of three quarters we spotted offside, there were hands in the ruck, crooked throws at the lineout all of which went unnoticed. The two flag waving assistant referees did nothing to help the referee other than indicating the point where the line out should take place and on one occasion indicating a high tackle. Thus one can empathise with the mood of the spectators when their side was beaten in the last minute but one cannot agree to the course of action adopted in order to seek redress. There is an established process to air a grievance and this must be adopted in all instances. The game has become too intense because of the stakes on offer and the very spirit of the game is often ignored.  Is it then time to go back to the past where the schools only played friendly games in the true spirit of the game and the traditional encounters had more relevance? Will this then kill the competitive spirit? I am not sure that I have all the answers, but the current format is only helping breed a set of uncouth youngsters as opposed to law abiding citizens. The spirit of rugby must be preserved by all those entrusted with administering the sport lest it becomes a game for hooligans.  In other school games Trinity continued on their merry way by beating SACK, Royal overcame some nervous moments while they finally got past the Joes. Kingswood got the better of the Pathana lads, and a gallant Wesley side lost to Dharmaraja who are playing some excellent rugby this season. If one remembers, they drew with Trinity in the early stages and a rematch will be a mouth-watering delight worth going a long way to watch.

Courtesy Daily FT

Related posts;

Namal Rajapaksa Pussyfoots About His Brother’s Thuggery

Assaulting The Rugby Referee: ‘It Was A Misunderstanding’ – Namal Rajapaksa

Censorship: Presidential Offspring ‘Referee-Beater’ Rohitha Rajapaksa On Buzz With Daily Mirror

Presidential Offspring Rohitha Rajapaksa Assaulted Rugby Referee In Full Public View

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Latest comments

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    It is no surprise that this culture bred by politicians, fermented in night clubs, and in the indisciplined way we use our roads, was finally brought to the sports field.

    Unless the rulers lead by example, this deterioration in social behaviour will only become worse.

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      this man is going to be under threat or some sort of pressure. i don’t think sports is not something worth standing for, in such hard times against a repressive government run by a dictator family. what he did, although it’s the right thing, is not so smart. people should follow Dr. Rajasingham Narendran. That guy tells us there are brothels (fixed or mobile assets :D ) operating the north where law and order is established by the military in addition to the supposed civil law enforcing authorities which also fall under the defense establishment now, with the aid of one foot soldier for six civlians. only Dr. Rajasingham Narendran knows the ground situation because apparently no one else takes the same bus he takes.

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      I have heard Science College Rugby coach is Rohita “Chichi” Rajapassa.

      Can anyone confirm this?

      If so, it explains why this school is involved in Rugby related problems.

      Not only the game against St. Peter’s, Science had played to win at all costs against Royal College as well.

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      Upto now thug activities not reported from Rajapakse family. He lead to that also. Totally Mr. Mahinda under pressure & cell life. His all decisions are failed. When he was a minister entire nation loved him.
      Most of the peoples thought he can do lot & before war very calm & all national loved him. After war & his family enter to the administration totally vanished the entire image of MR. But Gota is very discipline officer in army & weak of knowledge in civil law. Only solution to bring some professional close to him. But his very professional administrative secretory(lalith weerathunge) unable to performed or tight with the family influences.

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    Look all of you, this situation has arisen because of the bad examples of those who are in the top of the country. Any thing they do, they don’t know about decency and fair play. By hook or nook all have to accept their ways. What dirty things they do in the top reflects down to the bottom and all of the society. Until this dirty and vulgar regime is brought down, things would go from bad to worst. Gota, Mara & Co is taking down this country and people to a bottomless pit.

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    People who cannot let the ethnic minorities have their equal rights for 65yrs will have difficulty following rules in games. People who are trained to play fair games may come to uphold fairness in the society as well.

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    This is anything but an isolated instance. There have been bloodbaths after every Kandy vs Navy or Air Force game(when Roshan Goonetilleke, the air force chief headed up the Rugby Football Union. Nothing was done and the worst part of that story was the fact that the Kandy Sports Club which is, basically, owned and operated my that UNP stalwart, Malik Samarawickrema, has done NOTHING about their players and fans being hospitalised after these games. Theories, anyone?
    Talking about the Science College shenanigans it might be of interest to know who the the coach of that school is. Some of that school’s players were red-carded at a recent game and it seems common knowledge that the head of the schools rugby association has received orders from “the very top” to have the red-cards withdrawn. Any guesses as to who the individuals concerned with this thuggery and cover-up are?!

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      I have heard Science College Rugby coach is Rohita “Chichi” Rajapassa.

      Can anyone confirm this?

      If so, it explains why this school is involved in Rugby related problems.

      Not only the game against St. Peter’s, Science had played to win at all costs against Royal College as well.

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    During the 90 ‘ Fujian Ruby Player was killed by a politicians son. No legal action was taken. this kind of incidents will never end in our country

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    @ Ben Hurling: what you heard was correct. rohitha undertook coaching of science college team this year, which might also explain how a science player who was red carded and banned for 2 games for dangerous play, miraculously took field against dharmaraja college match.

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    It all boils down to how we are brought up by our parents and what values we have been instilled by them. We have seen how this family behaves and this does not come as a shock. Its the BREEDING!

  • 0
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    What exactly happened at the sevens ? I have not read a “blow by blow” account anywhere !

    If an officiating referee was assaulted by a player :

    (a) Why was that player not banned for life ? Evidence does not seem to be an issue in this case.

    (b) If (a) was not possible why was the tournament continued by the organizers’? It should have been abandoned for what is the use of playing under such conditions.

    (c) Why did the participating teams continue ? All they had to do was withdraw immediately.

    If none of the above was done what the hell is the use of whinging and moaning after the event ?

    • 0
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      Don Quixote,

      Press will not report this in detail. That will land “Chichi” in deep trouble. And the press itself will be in trouble. You did not know that? We live in a family run dictatorship.

      SLRFU will do nothing. SLRFU is run by a Rajapassa cronie. Namal’s ex-coach.

      As Namal said. It was a “misunderstanding”. Refree got beaten up. Got humiliated. He has to live with it. And that’s that.

      Matter is setteled outside norms of sport or law. Behind the scene. In true Mafia style. Only possible in “Wonder of Asia”.

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