Jaffna Challengers and North Western Blacks shared the overall championship position of the Carlton Sevens at the end of the Second Leg played at Police Park Colombo. In a system where ranking points are allocated the overall winners after two weeks of rugby was determined on the highest number of points aggregated. On the first day of each week the games were played in a pool on a round robin basis.
The first four group in each group went on to a knock-out and the fall out was joined by the fifth of the pool in each group who played a round robin. They then competed for places from 5th to 10th. The first four were determined the top four that remained after the quarter-finals. In Kandy it was the Western Warriors who were the winners of the first leg while in the Colombo leg the Jaffna Challengers took the honours.
The system ensured that the interest after the first week remained as the regional teams had a chance of getting to the top or staying within striking distance.
Police Park looked different to what it is, normally, with tents that created a carnival atmosphere.
|Action at Carlton 7s
The blistering heat is something that needs to be considered in the future as the number of matches per day per team leads to fatigue. What is most important is what was achieved by the local rugby players and what will they take forward. It was nice to see the local lads take on some of the international giants upfront. It was nice to see the local lads using the side step catching some greats on the wrong foot.
This experience will hold well for the National Sevens team when the Asian Sevens series begins in August 2012. The issue however is that this requires a pool from the experienced sevens players being kept together and taken care of. With the XV-a-side game beginning this week the possibility is very remote. Talking of the XV-a-side league games one finds that the first three weeks will see both club and school matches taking place during the week end. Possibly two club and three or four Top Division schools matches on Saturday from nine top games: on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Invariably resource usage such as the referees will be distributed and the game will see complaints and agitation.
Speaking of agitation one noticed frustration leading to physical violence reported after the match between St. Anthony’s Kandy and St. Peter’s. Here is a classic case of referee distribution when so many were involved at the Carlton Sevens. Why was it that when there was an international tournament being played that three schools “A” Division matches were played on Saturday in Kandy?
The match between SACK and SPC, I believe was to be played on Friday and was changed to Saturday where a referee was re-allocated. Cader who refereed the A Division game in Colombo the previous day obliged for what is popularly called “the game must go on.” The final result is what we all have come to know- the referee was manhandled. In other reports there were complaints of referees losing their belongings including cash and at the same grounds with the same hosts as well as elsewhere.
When there is little problem among the schools that are at the top most problems are from those who are struggling at the bottom. The issue of red cards have been rare and lead to infer that there is on field discipline.
The problems stems from those who are watching. We hear three calls at matches which is either all that they know or what they perceive as wrong. They are “O-f-f S-i-d-e” “H-o-l-d-i-n-g O-n” and “F-o-r-w-a-r-d” for anything the other side does. Another issue often quoted is on timing. Very often schools matches don’t start on time. There is either an introduction of the chief guest, non conclusion of junior matches and the never ending team huddle. The game very often starts few minutes after the scheduled start.
The spectator takes the duration from say 16.30 to the time the game was supposed to stop and then allege that extra time was played. A suggestion that was made recently was to have a timer and a hoot or a big stop watch as available in some stadia. That too would require competent people. Recently I watched a match that was lost because the opposition was allowed to keep the ball in play for around four minutes till a score was done.
The allegation was that the referee played additional time and also somebody asked why the referee could not have stopped the match if time was over. I believe it was Nigel Owens who told the players in a premier match as they kept questioning the referee “I am not here to referee a soccer game. The same could be said to those who think that the referee should stop a match irrespective of there being no stoppage “That is not Soccer. “
Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRB