Lanka Lions emerged Gulf mens open champions in the sevens tournament after a six year wait in the Emirates airline Dubai 7s. The tournament was [played at the Dubai Sevens ground from December 2-to-4. . The Lanka Lions team convincingly beat all their opponents by over 40 points in each game. Only two tries were scored against them in all seven matches. In the quarters, Lanka Lions beat Dubai Sharks 53-5 and in the semis Lanka Lions beat Jebel Ali Dragons 41-0. In the finals Lanka Lions beat Barrelhouse Warriors 44-0.
|The captain Adil Deen with the trophy , Also in the picture are Dilroy Fernando (on left) and Asnaga Seneviratne|
The Lanka Lions team was led by Adil Deen, a 4th year player who had the services of ex national players Imad Reyal and Abzal Mohammed. They were packed with former school players such as Dilshan Kelaniyagoda, Anojan Balasundaram, Tharindu Oshada and newcomer Shazard Deen. The team was strengthened by a few Fijians, who blended well to create a dominant team that was evident throughout the three day tournament. The Lanka Lions second side, led by Srinath Jayasuriya, went all the way to the finals and lost in a hotly contested final. They too displayed sizzling rugby beating many top clubs but were unfortunate at the end of the game. They too had ex school players such as Darshana Suraweera, Haritha Bandara, Hilmy “Bebo” Mohamed, Madushanka, Zuhair Mohamed,Beau Swart and Ben van Rooyen, an ex United Arab Emirates under 20 player.
The cup winning championship side comprised the following players; Adil Deen, Imad Reyal,Dilshan Kelaniyagoda, Abzal Mohammed, Tharindu Oshada, Anojan Balasundaram, Shazard Deen, Suli Voli, Keponi Paul, Jone Marawa, Sefa Waqa and Melo Vueta.
The team was coached by Rockini Saimoni an ex Fiji national sevens player and assisted by Azarath Deen a former Trinity College player. The teams were managed by Roshan De Silva and Loanna Ratwatte.