Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Under XV Rugby

The Under XV Rugby game against STC - 1974

Machan,

When you talk of Kadalay so many fond memories crop up. I thought I will send you just a small incident but signifies the essense of Kadlay.

The Year was 1974.

After three months of training, we, the under XV Royal Rugby players were to play STC Mount Lavinia on their grounds.

Those days the under 15 had only two games against STC and Issipathana. The Game was at 3.30 PM and played in the blazing sun as the more important under 17 and 1st XV had to practice and needed the grounds by 4.30 pm.

Royal was Captained by the Late Raba Gunesekera gathered under the front Porch, at College, at 1.30 pm all eager and anxious, as, for 95% of the players it was their first
match for Royal.

To our dismay we found that there was no one available to take us to the game or even accompany us.

We were just the measley under XV team. So what the heck?

Sharp 2.10, Kadalay walks in, in his immaculate white sarong and shirt, with rattle in hand and says, "lets go boys and teach those Thomians a lesson".

We could have hugged him as he was the ONLY person who accompanied us in the bus to Mount, and, thereafter, amidst about 200 hot-blooded Thomian's, paced the grounds up and down cheering us and advicing us and giving us that extra little bit that means so much in such a significant event in our lives.

"Kadalay whereever you are, I salute you dear friend. You were an inspiration to us."

Iqbal Hassen, Colombo, Sri Lanka - Mar 14 2006
ihassen@slt.lk

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