Yesterday (15-07-11) we witnessed history being made when Vidyartha College met St. John’s College at Nittawela. Vidyartha were able to break the the Sri Lanka schools record for the highest total in a match by scoring 203 unanswered points. To avoid any possible confusion I will point out that it was a Rugby match. It was a great day for Vidyartha rugby, but not such a great day for Sri Lankan rugby, or even the game as a whole.

During the second half of the game, one by one the St. John’s players started walking off the field. At one point there were only four players on the field. The players weren’t walking off injured, they had just had enough and went away. It was an appalling sight to say the least. It was more appalling than watching Anderson Silva vs Maia @ UFC 108. However, it was less appalling than when a player fired a weapon mid match, which happened just a couple of weeks ago at the Kandy vs Air Force club match. Is this the state of Sri Lankan rugby? This was a division two match for crying out loud.

Anyway, what’s done is done and we as fans have to move on. I would like to pass on this kind message to the St. John’s boys or any sportsman for that matter: Play the game with the right spirit. Take inspiration from people like Derek Redmond who got injured but still finished the 400m at the 1992 Olympics. The recent example from the 2011 Tour de France where John Hoogerland was thrown into a barbed wire fence and subsequently had to get 33 stitches, but still finished the race speaks volumes about never giving up. Even better would be our own unsung hero Ranatunga Karunanada who finished the 10,000m (to a standing ovation) way after rest of the runners back at the ’64 Olymics.

Finish what you started. Never give up. That old saying “it’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game” still holds true.