Entertaining fare was dished-out at the Sri Lanka Super 7s powered by Dialog this weekend. The large gathering present was privy to some great skills in the shorter version of the game by both the foreign and local players. The Sri Lankan players went head to head against the foreign players and here we look at the local lads who impressed.
1. Sandun Herath – Access Kings
This man has been out of the country for a while and didn’t play any games last year. What a comeback impact he delivered to the Kings franchise. Good to see he had the fitness, pace and power with him to play the full 14 minutes. Scored 4 tries in the second leg of Super 7s but also played a supportive role and saw some amazing skills to breakaway the first defense.
2. Sudarshana Muthuthanthri – EZY Wolves
He deservingly won the award for the most outstanding player of the tournament. Led the EZY Wolves remarkably well and his ‘never say die attitude’ in defense was simply amazing, certainly the youngster Avishka Lee will feel that tackle made by Muthuthanthri in the Softlogic Warriors game. The former Sri Lanka skipper was not only brilliant in defense but also showed a great sense in his attacking game throughout the weekend.
3. Nivanka Prasad – Access Kings
Was brutal with his power and strength and played a sensible game for the Warriors. The Navy No8 who is more spoken of in the XV’s format, will have raised eyebrows of the national selectors with his performances. However, his skills are bound to be compared to the likes of veteran Gayan Weerarathne etc. Prasad deserves to be in this slot as his performance remained consistent throughout the weekend.
4. Sudam Sooriarachchi – EZY Wolves
Perhaps the fastest scrum half in the country as he made his presence felt with some blistering phases both in the attack and defense. His passing accuracy was too good and showed lot of courage in the defensive work. His overall work rate was incredible for the champion of the second leg. He will become a big threat for the selectors ahead of the Asia sevens series which will commence in September.
5. Srinath Sooriyabandara – Etisalat Panthers
Sri Lankans’ sevens sensation is still at his best of the form. He snips through the defense and is a very creative play maker. We didn’t see the promising work rate from Fazil Marija, Tharinda Ratwatte or Dulaj Perera at the pivotal position of fly half. Although ‘Soori’ played as half back, his position becomes a matter only in the set pieces in the shorter version. For his performance, we just cannot keep out of this team.
6. Dinusha Chathuranga – EZY Wolves
Often known as ‘Para’ in the rugby community, scored 5 tries in the weekend, Chathuranga played a magical game. He must be dejected after dropping out from the national 7s team in the recent tournaments but he really played with venom and his celebration after the try he scored in the final says it all. His goose-step and the dazzling footwork was too good for the Wolves. Worth mentioning on Lee Keegel of Mobitel Eagles for performance as well.
7. Kavindu Perera – Cargills Gladiators
Kavindu has improved a lot and every time he gets the ball in hand he was menacing. He beats the first defense easily and receiving the own kick-offs has been sensational. Perhaps he is the only player who makes that text book tackles and he times tackles in to perfection although he is a pencil- sized winger. The tackle he made on Anurudda Wilwara was a stunner. It was a 1 v 1 situation and Wilwara used his upper body strength where Kavindu went a step or two backwards, he didn’t give up wrapped Wilwara and dragged him to the sidelines.