Winning trophies has been bread and butter for the Weeraratnes and the younger sibling of the two, Roshan Weeraratne has mastered the art of victory.
With the curtain coming down on the local rugby season for 2016/2017, Roshan Weeraratne concluded his captaincy run this season in glorious fashion, leading MAS Holdings to the Mercantile Rugby Sevens title at the Colombo Racecourse.
The season that started off with the Dialog Club Rugby League in mid-November progressed towards the Dialog Clifford Cup and later saw the transition to the shorter format of the game; the sevens series. The Dialog Club Sevens was followed up by the two-legged Sri Lanka Super 7’s and the 47th Mercantile Sevens was the final lap of a long season.
If there was an award for the player of the season, there would probably be only one man in contention; Roshan Weeraratne. The former Kingswood College captain had one of the best seasons as a player and a successful captain in the local circuit taking all the teams he captained to glory.
Captaining the Kandy Sports Club side, who were looking to retain the Dialog Club Rugby League for the third time, the dynamic scrum-half Roshan Weeraratne & his team were put on a pressure test after losing two games in the 1st round.
The unexpected twist of events saw Kandy suffering a loss to Air Force SC and later Navy SC, making the league title contention a tougher contest between Navy SC, Havelock SC and Kandy SC.
Having lost two games, it was the fighting spirit of the Kandy team that saw the team winning all of the matches in the second round and retaining the title for the third consecutive year.
Not giving up from there, Kandy went on to take the double crown winning the Dialog Clifford Cup defeating a spirited Havelock SC outfit 32-20 in the final at Nittawela.
Three months from the Clifford cup, Roshan Weeraratne led a team to the playing fields of Nittawela; this time with the Mobitel Eagles as the Sri Lanka Super 7’s made its way to the hills.
Lady luck was with the 28-year-old at his home ground as the Weeraratne led Mobitel Eagles went on to win the 1st leg of the 2017 edition in Kandy. Mobitel Eagles; the defending champions of the Sri Lanka Super 7’s series made a wise decision to bid for Weeraratne and having handed over the captaincy duties, it was the Eagles who took the 2017 series despite losing the final in the second leg.
Read More: Eagles claim Super 7’s despite loss in Final
The Super 7’s saw the stalwart combining with a unique set of players, players who were from different backgrounds coming together to compile a team along with overseas players. The Mobitel Eagles had the likes of Lee Keegal, Thilina Wijesinghe and young talent such as Chatura Seneviratne & Chamod Fernando.
The Eagles had a stunning run in the Super 7’s losing only one match in the entire series. They were runners up in the Colombo leg but walked away with the title for the second successive year.
The 47th Mercantile Sevens was the icing on the cake for the stalwart as MAS Holdings went on to win back the title after a lapse of one year defeating Access Group in a crunch final. The final that extended to the second extra time play saw the experienced MAS side winning it after 2015.
“Winning has been an everyday thing”
Weeraratne was running in tries in for Kingswood College way before he headlined the news as a Kandy Sports Club player.
Making his 1st XV debut at an age of 16, Roshan Weeraratne played scrum-half in Eranda Weerakkody’s league winning side in 2005. Playing four years for his alma-mater, Roshan was a part of two league winning teams before turning out for the hometown club.
Read More: The Weerarathne Legacy
To play the sport and excel at it is, of course, an achievement. But to lead a team to victory while excelling at the sport you play is a rare feat. We seldom see great sportsmen achieving great personal success while leading a team. This is where Roshan Weeraratne stands out as a skipper.
Running strong at 26-years of age, if there is one regret he’d have this season is not making the Sri Lanka national team which he has led Asia Division I Championship glory in the past.
With Weeraratne finishing off his captaincy run, his services will continue to be vested in Sri Lanka Rugby as he has created a legacy in the chronicles of the sport as one of the greatest to have donned the #9 jersey for Sri Lanka.