Sanath Martis, has been a household name in the school rugby circuit over the past decade and the brains behind many championship winning teams.
Taking the reins at Royal in 2014, the champion coach went on to win the coveted Bradby shield the very next year. Having produced outstanding players at St. Peter’s College in his tenure as coach, Martis succeeded in doing the same with Royal. While all of Royal rugby seems to be blossoming under the tutelage of the veteran coach, players in the likes of Bhanuka Gamage and most recently Janidu Dilshan, have been sensational.
Moving back to this season, Royal College seemed to be down and out following the loss to Isipathana but following the New Year break, Royal have looked and played like a rejuvenated team.
The Royal game plan looked easy, pin your opponent to the corner and maul your way to the try line. Easier said than done. Martis laid the law down so the lads from Reid Avenue made things flow seamlessly. It was their master weapon.
That was not enough for master-tactician, he brought-out the other aspect of the game; the three-quarter line. At the match against S Thomas’ he stunned the opposition when he decided to move the ball wide show casing to the Royal faithful that this team could play any style of rugby.
Talking to ThePapare.com following the win against S. Thomas’ College, coach Martis said “We wanted to play a wide game as we saw that the Thomians were weak in their three quarter defence and that is why we had scoring opportunities. Not forgetting the forwards who played well in their own right”
His grueling work ethic as a coach has been highlighted, not only just at Royal but in the past at Peter’s College and Wesley as well. Known to be a trainer who sticks to his strengths and exploits the opponent’s weakness, Sanath Martis, will undoubtedly look to get his rumbling maul going forward and exploit Trinity’s weak wide runners. With a bit of luck and the bounce of the ball rolling his way, no doubt the coach will be in the thick of things for this all-important encounter.
The match against Wesley College was a tough task in its own right. Having been behind at halftime, Coach Martis, lived up to his standards with an outstanding team talk to get his lads back on track and end the game with a win.
He did not forget to speak with ThePapare.com after the win, mentioning “second half, second quarter, I recognized that their (Wesley College) forwards were not upto scratch. We hit them hard as they let the tempo drop and it paid dividends in the end. Not forgetting our (Royal) backline defence, they held strong to nullify the Wesley attack”
He also spoke about his promising midfield man, Janidu Dilshan who did not have a good first half but blossomed in the second following the coaches talk “Players can have off days, but I know he’s a good player and I spoke to him and he did not let me or the team down”
With this season’s title hanging in the balance as the final game against Trinity decides the league championship as well as the first leg of the Bradby shield, Martiswill surely have something special under his sleeve. The lads from Royal undoubtedly will be going all out to play to their strengths.
“We will be going all out at Pallekale, we are going to give our 100% because it’s the league decider and the Bradby first leg. So we will go all out to win, nothing other than a win will please me”