Friday, April 10, 2009

Asian Rugby Test: Who will be Relegated?

Sri Lanka v Thailand in Dubai (WCQ Asia R1; Asia Nations Div.1; 3rd-4th Playoff)

If a lot is at stake in the Arabian Gulf-China Taipei clash, this encounter has plenty riding on it as well. Both teams will be struggling to avaoid relegation to Asia Nations Division 2 for 2010.

Sri Lanka put up a good fight against China Taipei mid-week. They had a major political upheaval within their rugby union over team selection only days before this tournament. The whole team and management were sacked, a new squad of 24 selected (with only 8 originals reselected) and no time to train together. Some 15 of the top players were not available so Wednesday's result was some achievement.

Thailand has a torrid time against the bulky AG forwards and will find the Sri Lankans more to their size.

Last Five Encounters
04.06.2005 Sri Lanka 48-38 in Bangkok (WCQ Asia Div.3A)
18.11.2002 Thailand 72-0 in Bangkok (Asia Champ. Div.2, Sect.2)
20.05.2001 Sri Lanka 46-17 in Colombo (Asia Plate)
25.06.2000 Thailand 38-28 in Aomori (17th Asia Champ. Div.2)
1999 Sri Lanka 25-3 in Ipoh ( Int. Quad.Tournament)

Sri Lanka and Thailand have a long rugby history. They first met in 1970 at the 2nd Asia Championship, held in Bangkok, drawing 19-19.

GWC Rugby Rankings: Asia Table-Sri Lanka 8th, Thailand 10th

Prediction: Sri Lanka does not have its top side here. They are playing virtually a second XV side. A lot will depend on how many injuries they have and how the teams have shaped up since Wednesday. I'm going for Thailand to win by 10 points.


Sri Lankan Squad
Prop forwards
Henry Terrence (CR and FC),
Kasun Yasaisuru (Havelocks)
Suranga Swarnatilleke (CR and FC)
Danushka Sandaruwan (Havelocks).
Anuja Perera (CR and FC)
Rajiv Perera (Havelocks).
Lock forwards
Pradeep Wilson (Police)
Sumedha Jayasinghe (Kandy SC)
Ashen Karthelis (CR and FC).
Pavithra Fernando (captain, CR and FC)
Danushka Perera (CR and FC)
Sharo Fernando (CH and FC).
Number eight
Dushanth Lewke (CR and FC).
Scrum halves
Zulki Hamid (CR and FC)
Srinath Sooriyabandara (CR and FC).
Fly halves
Ashan de Costa (CR and FC)
Chanaka Chandimal (Air Force).
Dinusha Chathuranga (CR and FC)
Suranga Arunashantha (Air Force)
Niroshan Karunanayake (CR and FC).
Dinesh Kumara (CR and FC)
Ravindra Wekadapola (CR and FC)
Lasintha de Costa (CR and FC).
Full back: Reza Mubarak (CR and FC).
Head Coach: John Carrington

Thailand Squad
Not available

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