22 June 2012

And the Bradby Shield got scratched

Trinity won, Royal lost nothing, Rugby lost

The Bradby Shield is an rugby annual encounter between two schools.  Post game reports usually talk of the game.  In the case of the First Leg of the Bradby, however, the efforts and slip-ups of the players were overshadowed by unnecessary off-field matters that amounted to a shameful blot on the game and the great tradition of sportsmanship built by the two schools over the years. 

Trinity won the game.  They outplayed Royal; great game of rugby in that sense, especially since Royal was supposed to be the better team.  It’s the job of the boys to do their best on the field, regardless of the cheers and jeers.  It’s part of their job to steel themselves against off-field distractions.  Trinity were unfazed, Royal rattled; the scoreboard, 34-11 tells that story. 

Two issues remain. First, the unruly behavior on the part of a section of the crowd, notably and unfortunately Old Trinitians and worse, those tasked to guide Trinity rugby, the so-called ‘Trinity Scrummage’!   Invading the field, interrupting play, abusing and manhandling the Senior Games Master and the Rugby Master-in-Charge of Royal are unprecedented and unacceptable and absolutely un-Trinity-like.  Add to this the Trinity Principal opting to get into the thick of things, thereby tarnishing his office, and the Trinity coach violating relevant rules to chit-chat with the referee and what you have is a monumental ‘Out of Order!’ 

The issue was alleged lapses on the part of the referee. 

Now there are good referees and bad referees.  There are good referees who have bad days at the office.   There are also referees who make it seem that 15 players are playing against 16.  This is common to all sports at all levels, rugby included and Bradby Shield matches included.  Regardless of all that, interruptions wreck the moment, disrupt the run of play and rob one part of momentum. 

A more serious fact and one highlighted in various comments in the media by Old Trinitians and some sports journalists is that the President of the Rugby Referees’ Association happens to be the father of the Royal skipper.  This naturally adds spice to allegations that the referee was ‘blowing for Royal’.  It doesn’t necessarily follow of course, but if one were to go by the dictum ‘justice must not only be done but seen to be done,’ then this is a clear case of conflict of interest.  If not for this, then it would be ‘bad refereeing’ and not ‘referee blowing for Royal’. 

Now, one can’t blame Royal for the referee’s inadequacies, especially since Trinity did not offer objection when the referees were named (a few days before the match).  Designating referees is a matter for that Association.  This however does not absolve the President of the Association from being negligent in disclosing the fact that he has a personal interest and therefore declining the position.  That’s the gentleman thing to do.  It was not done. 
If there are heads that need to be hung in shame, then one has to count the President of the Referees’ Association and all those Trinitians who acted like hooligans that evening. 
Reactions:

13 comments:

Michael said...

Yes,what you say may be true but, having played in the Bradby's myself I can very safely say that this is not the first instance where the referee has blatantly been biased against TCK!!!

Anonymous said...

I am surprised. in this day of falling standards TCK was in my royal eyes one of the pillars of solid character and great tradition. what to do! Looks like that is changing as well.

Anonymous said...

Although not there personally, I was told that the Royal players entered the arena in an aggressive and over the top manner by crossing the half way line and physically pushing their opponents before the game started. I cannot verify this fact but if true, then the Royal players should be disciplined severely.
This is still school rugby they should behave, whatever the level of competitiveness.

Anonymous said...

Finally an unbiased article on the 68th bradby first leg. Well done Malinda.

There are 3 main players here - royal, trinity, and independent match officials.

Last year second leg trinity too was aggressive entering the field and intimidating royal players. Those are tactics and a part of the game. The match official issue is another issue. The royal captain’s father holding office is beyond the control of royal. Given the size of the Royal and the diversity, none of the royalists will be able to play any game or take part in any activities given that their parents holding various offices in Sri Lankan society.

It is sad to see that many one sided articles have been written in mainstream newspapers to highlight a few issues by the royal team. These issues are trivial to what really happened to bring the game down to perhaps the lowest level in the bradby history of what happened on June 16 at the royal sports complex.

There is video evidence to show the intoxicated trinity scrummage members doing something very unlike trinity abusing and manhandling royal teachers. This has never been witnessed in the 68 year old history of the Bradby. It is not cool for a bunch of old trinitians to behave like morons in front of majority kids at a school game. The non-coherent behavior of abusing and manhandling the referees and the host school senior games master and master in charge of royal rugby is an offence if an official complaint was made to the police.

Add to that the TCK principal stepped out of the invitees’ podium where he was seated with the chief guest and the Royal Principal (he did not step out of the podium keeping the dignity of the office he holds). Video footage and spectators clearly saw that the Trinity Principal went into the playing field was not trying to stop scrummage members on rampage on the field, but he directly went to speak to the referee!!!

What unfolded were serious issues and unprecedented in the Bradby history of old boys holding office in trinity rugby and the principal! No wonder, it seems the new and never seen before trinity motto to win at any cost is led by the top!

July 16, 2012 was a sad day for Trinity!

Anonymous said...

yes its true , its the 1st time in the history of bradby that it happened Royal shouldn’t have never done what they did before the kick off , im sure this was pre planed and if it was what was the coaching team mainly compromising of past rc captains do ?????, Bradby is something special and the friendship you build with the opposite players is something you cherish , Most of my friends are from the royal camp and the guys whom i played against .
Referee did a bad job 80 min game 40 times play was stopped and 23 penalties so this shows the caliber of the referee , agree that trinity Rugby committee went over board but if you ask why it happened it points to the reff
Royal trinity should speak to the Reff union and go for international reffs in the future or go for past captains of both schools to share the legs

Anonymous said...

Taken from the interview with Chairman of the Referee Union of Sri Lanka Mr. Nizam Jamaldeen.

http://thepapare.com/index.php/rugby-football/1810-thepapare-interviews-the-referees-union-boss-nizam-jamaldeen

"Q. There are criticisms that there is a conflict of interest since you are the Chairman of the referees association and your son is the captain of the Royal College rugby team. What do you have to say about this?

A. No I don't think that is the case. Previously there have been presidents of the SLRFU who had been holding that position while their sons have been playing or even captaining teams. However as a gentleman I insisted that we do not follow the usual procedure of appointing myself as the Head of the assignment committee. Usually the Chairman of the Referee Union is the Head of the assignment committee.

However this year we have appointed a different person and even I check my matches online since I have no decision making responsibilities in assigning referees.

As long as we do the right thing I don't see any conflict of interest."

Anonymous said...

Trinitians has done what is right we never expect good school like Royal will treat their guest like this manner on the ground and shamelessly out of the ground like this....really disgusting......

KillerM said...

The Bradby Shield got scratched long time ago... so sad that Royal initiate it in there own ground in 2008, harassing and throwing bottles and objects at the Trinity Place Kicker while he was going to convert a try. It wasn't due to the any shortcomings of the officials.. but for being let down by the weak Royal players getting a right royal thrashing.... Where were you Mr. Seneviratne when this happened... did you write it in your blog? Anyways, why accuse 'scrummage' accuse the individual... how dare you generalize things.... If I point fingers at all royalists and generalize with Ranil W... it ain't fair, isn't it?

I don't think my comment will be published... but facts will be facts...

Anonymous said...

If one were to slit my wrists they would find the blood to run in three colours - such is my love for the grand old lady I have the honour to refer to as my Alma Mater.

That said I am thoroughly ashamed of what happened on the day. If it counts for anything I would like to apologise for what happened on behalf of my fellow Trinitians.

As much as good referees have bad days so do good Trinitians I guess. I am not making excuses instead trying to find some mutual ground to help us bridge this chasm and move forwards. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Perhaps even the best education doesn't prevent someone behave in ways they shouldn't. What a good education should however do is help people understand the need for making amends.

Very good article Milinda, thank you. Here's to a much better 2nd leg! All the best Royal and Trinity!

ps - Royal LOST big time mate, get with the programme ;)

Anonymous said...

Well Said anonymous!!

Anonymous said...

Trinity won, Roayal lost Big time, who ever wrote this, dont fool your self. get on with life.

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Anonymous said...

Ref the following 2012 comment:


Anonymous said...

If one were to slit my wrists they would find the blood to run in three colours - such is my love for the grand old lady I have the honour to refer to as my Alma Mater.

That said I am thoroughly ashamed of what happened on the day. If it counts for anything I would like to apologise for what happened on behalf of my fellow Trinitians.

As much as good referees have bad days so do good Trinitians I guess. I am not making excuses instead trying to find some mutual ground to help us bridge this chasm and move forwards. We are all human and we all make mistakes. Perhaps even the best education doesn't prevent someone behave in ways they shouldn't. What a good education should however do is help people understand the need for making amends.

Very good article Milinda, thank you. Here's to a much better 2nd leg! All the best Royal and Trinity!

ps - Royal LOST big time mate, get with the programme ;)
Friday, June 22, 2012 10:12:00 PM

My response comes a long time after the particular game and the above comment but I must doff my hat to a fellow Trinitian who has clearly benefited from having attended Trinity. One is either a gentleman or he is not. There is no half way. Nothing would ever make a gentleman do an ungentlemanly thing and what that bunch of hooligans (who unfortunately happened to have also attended, but obviously not learnt anything worthwhile at Trinity College) did
at the 1st Leg 2012 was not just unacceptable but a disgrace to Trinity and everything she stands for. As for the Principal, the less said the better. Surely "The Great" Fraser must have turned in his grave. The unfazed and undeterred 2012 Trinity team, especially Somasiri who did not protest the Yellow card but accepted the Refs ruling as Law was an example to those nasty Old Boys. even if Trnity had lost that match with that bad "reffing" (even Chandrishan Perera expressed surprise from the commentators' box), without the shameful breach, they would have won a greater adoration, rather than winning earning this type of shame breaking down over a hundred years of character building effort.