Sri Lanka Navy rugby team to play Doha this Fri­day

Gulf Times Sport - - SPORT - By Sports Re­porter

The Navy match against Doha has been con­firmed for Fri­day, Oc­to­ber, 19, at the Doha Rugby Foot­ball Cen­tre. The pre­sea­son match is the first for the Navy Club and sec­ond for Doha, who are reel­ing off a close loss af­ter host­ing Colombo last week.

Last year’s Sri Lanka League run­ners-up will be look­ing at go­ing one bet­ter this year us­ing the Doha match as a plat­form to the Dialog premier­ship ti­tle.

“This is a great re­sult for Qatar, the DRFC, fans of rugby and the con­tin­ued growth of in­ter­na­tional club re­la­tions,” Lion’s me­dia ex­ec­u­tive Sa­muel Rico said. “Sev­eral peo­ple and part­ners have worked tire­lessly be­hind the scenes to make this hap­pen”.

Navy Chair­man Rear Ad­mi­ral De­sap­priya Het­tiarachchi said he was look­ing for­ward to his side be­ing tested by the top Qatar rugby club.

“This is an ex­cit­ing trip for us. It’s an im­por­tant game for both clubs and our fu­ture re­la­tions,” he said. “We ex­pect a tough con­test as we know Doha will not be easy at home. Our play­ers will use their ag­gres­sive­ness as in­spi­ra­tion to rise to the oc­ca­sion.”

The top brass later praised Li­ons man­age­ment who with the Doha RFC has worked closely to bring both teams head to head.

“Li­ons RFC pres­i­dent Nimo Amit and his team have been tremen­dous. Their dy­namic en­ergy and ded­i­ca­tion to make this game and fu­ture matches a suc­cess is note­wor­thy.”

Club sec­re­tary Com­man­der Thusitha Aby­sun­dara re­it­er­ated the Chair­man’s words and ac­knowl­edged the Sri Lanka Rugby Fed­er­a­tion for their un­wa­ver­ing sup­port.

“Be­ing able to of­fer this his­tor­i­cal game is thanks to the co­or­di­nated ef­forts of all in­volved, those in Qatar and Sri Lanka, in par­tic­u­lar our Union whose role is just as vi­tal as the com­mit­ment of our play­ers to pre­pare and com­pete in Doha,” he said.

Com­ment­ing about the team’s per­for­mance whilst trav­el­ling, team Man­ager Me­naka Su­ranga said, “Our na­tional play­ers will be avail­able for this match mean­ing well be at full strength giv­ing us the good chance to de­fend and main­tain our away from home win­ning streak.”

Mean­while Coach Mothilal Jay­athi­laka ad­mits Doha will be ro­bust and no push over, pos­ing a com­pet­i­tive chal­lenge.

“Doha will be strong at home and af­ter last week’s loss to Colombo they will be all fired up with a point to prove. They play a phys­i­cal game and will want to dom­i­nate us es­pe­cially around the ruck. That’s fine by us as long as we are firm in our game plan we won’t have any prob­lems,” he said.

“I un­der­stand we have a big fol­low­ing in Qatar and we will be us­ing their en­ergy as fire power. It’s im­por­tant we not only en­ter­tain them but make them proud of us,” Jay­athi­laka said.

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