CR&FC and Havelocks Sports Club players grapple for the ball in a Division 1 Inter-club Rugby Tournament fixture which Havies won 34-18 at Longden Place.

After Havies beat CR 34-18  at Longden Place

By Ravi Nagahawatte

Havelocks Sports Club saw its players bubbling with enthusiasm throughout a blockbuster 80 minutes of rugby where they outperformed Ceylonese Rugby & Football Club 34-18 in a Dialog Inter-club League Rugby Tournament match at Longden Place on November 28 (Saturday).

The visitors to CR&FC grounds showed that they would not be rattled by a far more impressive team on paper and dominated both halves of the game to collect their points through four tries, four conversions and two penalties.

The park club’s Coach Tulagaese Tawita was over the moon after the game and said. “We stepped up our performance today. And most importantly we didn’t commit the same errors we made during our last match. We need to keep improving and for that we need to be hard on ourselves,” said the Samoan born coach after the game. CR&FC could manage to produce only three tries and a penalty conversion.

For Havies there were all-round contributions, but what stood in their favor was the continuity in their moves. They moved the ball wide in attack and came up fast in their defense to put the brakes on a CR back division which was loaded with renowned players.

CR lived up to their name as a force in domestic rugby, scoring within the first ten minutes of the game through the efforts of Kavindu de Costa. Havies came back screaming at them with a try by hooker Prasad Padmasanka immediately and a well taken conversion by full back Rimzi Jamaladeen.

Havies were all over the CR territory from then onwards. CR’s defense was blown open for the second time in the first half when replacement fly half Niroshan Fernando went over easily off a backline move. Jamaldeen’s conversion put the winners 17-8 in the lead at the short whistle of referee Aruna Rankothge.

Number eight Muthuthantri and centre Dhanushka Ranjan were running at will after the resumption of the game. Ranjan left some blazing trails, but when he exploded into action in the third minute after half time, the cracks in the CR defense stayed permanently. Scrum half Rahul de Silva crept over the try line soon afterwards and Jamaldeen added the extra points with his reliable place kicking.

If the average crowd at the match thought that this was a lopsided game, those thoughts would have vanished fast because  CR produced two tries in the second half, one through Sasanga Ariyaratne and the other though Kanchana Ramanayake.

There was a lot of Havies initiated movement inside the CR territory throughout the second half, but most of them weren’t good enough to take the ball over the try-line. Havelocks extended their lead 16 minutes before the end through a penalty by Jamaldeen.

When the tries stopped coming for Havies, second rower Sithum Peiris gave his team something to cheer about when he made a try saving tackle close to the corner flag.

Coach Laga said after the game “We missed eight scoring opportunities. Our goal was to score 50 points”.