Kandy SC observed the strength of CR&FC in a crucial Dialog Inter-club League Rugby Tournament fixture before pulling off a nail-biting 22-16 win. Victory came for the visitors only at the last minute and their hero was flanker Heshan Kalhara who broke through the CR&FC defence. But the whole episode was a reality check for Kandy SC.
Speaking exclusively to Nation Kandy SC head coach Sean Wijesinghe said, “We have to improve a lot, CR and FC played a really good game. Honestly out of all the opponents we have faced they are the best team out of the lot. I will not underestimate any team because everyone wants to beat us. In rugby you have no room to relax and take it lightly,” said Wijesinghe.
Despite not having several regulars, lost due to injuries or doing national duty at the Junior Asiad, CR and FC gave off a scintillating display under the leadership of skipper and second row forward Ishan Noor.
CR&FC three quarters excelled in both attack and defence, gaining territory in abundance. They also created havoc among the Kandy three quarters who didn’t live up to their reputation. For CR&FC their halves combination of brothers Kavindu De Costa and Ashan De Costa along with centres Amila Bandara, Rochana Hettiarachchi, full back Prince Chamara and two young wingers Kavindhu Perera and Sashan Mohamad played the game of their life.
Flanker Heshan Kalhara, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Lavanga Perera, captain Marija and centre Gayan Weeraratna contributed towards Kandy’s win.
Air Force taste first win
Air Force Sports Club, who got their act together in the last quarter against the fighting CH and FC side, recorded a 16-14 win.
Air Force got their momentum going only in the second half and won through a last minute penalty which came off the boot of full back Nuwan Perera. Air Forces’s spirited three quarter line stood out in their first victory for the season. Their wing three quarter Jero Dananjaya played a scintillating game.
Lakshan stands between Army and victory
Havies figured in a superb second half rally to beat Army 27-22 at Air Force grounds in Ratmalana. Army was ones again led brilliantly by their skipper and hooker Ashoka Jayalal.
Army forwards won lots of position for their speedy three quarter line to do the scoring. Army counter attacked the moves created by the Havies team and came very close to creating an upset. The last minute try by Havies fly half Samantha Lakshan deprived Army of certain victory.
Full back Gayan Salinda once again stood out for creating opportunities for Army with his booming kicks, safe collections, punishing runs and whenever he formed the overlap.
Navy ride on Thilina’s boot
A brilliant 35 metre last minute penalty by ex-Kingswood College full back Thilina Wijesinghe enabled Navy Sports Club cruise through to a smashing 27-24 win over Police SC.
For Navy their forwards and three quarters formed the winning combination.
The men who created this brilliant victory for Navy were pack-leader and flanker Yoshitha Rajapaksha, centre Lee Keegal and number eight Nivanka Prasad, who made some breathtaking touch downs.
Full back Thilina Wijesinghe was on target with his place kicking and booted through a match winning penalty.
Flanker Joel Perera, number eight Radeesha Ranjan, scrum half Sudam Sooriarachchi, Mohamad Abzal and centre Musheen Faleel had outstanding games.