By Indika Amarasinghe
The Sri Lankan Men’s team gave a brilliant display of Sevens rugby to secure third place when they thrashed Malaysia by 45 points (5 goals, 2 tries) to 12 (1 goal, 1 try), cheered by a large Sri Lankan crowd who were present at the Racecourse international grounds.
The whole Sri Lankan team gave a fabulous sign-off to their fantastic leader Fazil Marija who led his team for the last time in a 7’s match.
For the gallant Tuskers Anuruddha Wilwara, Kanchana Ramanayake, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri (two tries each) and, Srinath Sooriyabandara (one try) scored for Sri Lanka. Skipper Marija, Sooriyabandara and Dulaj Perera made the five conversions respectively.
The two Fijian’s Naqasima Pepeli and Sakuru Vaqa scored tries for Malaysia and Naqasima put over one conversion.
Japan staved off a fierce challenge by Hong Kong to be crowned the Cup champions by 29 points to 22 in the final. Incidentally, this is the third consecutive time that Japan had won the Cup championship in 2015 ARFU sevens series this year.
Earlier in the day Sri Lanka came from behind to create a shock victory over Asian number two ranked Korea by 19 points to 12 after trailing 12-7 at lemons.
Dhanuska Ranjan (one try) and hero of the match speedy winger Anuruddha Wilwara who sealed the game for his team with two brilliant back to back tries scored for Sri Lanka. Sooriyabandara put over two conversions.
For the Korean outfit Yong Chang scored both the tries while Gayune Lee made one conversion.
In the semi-finals the small made but gutsy Sri Lankan team gave one of their best performances in their seven’s rugby history going down fighting to Asian giants and number one ranked Japan 26 points (3 goals, 1 try) to 19 (2 goals, 1 try).
Japan scored their tries through the highest points scorer of the previous two legs Teruya Goto, Katsuyuki Sakai, Lote Tuqiri and Henry William. Katsuyuki Sakai puts over three conversions for Japan.
For Sri Lanka Dhanuska Ranjan scored two tries and speedster Wilwara one. Marija and Dulaj Perera made the conversions for the Tuskers.
Meanwhile the Sri Lankan women’s team had a disastrous tournament by finishing last losing all their games played on the second day.
In their last match of the day the Women’s Tuskers lost to Uzbekistan in the Plate semi-finals.