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Kandy stamp their class with hard fought win

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Defending league champs Kandy Sports Club stamped their class yet again this season with a hard fought 27-22 win over Havelocks Sports Club to remain undefeated and continue to occupy the top position in the league points table, while CR and FC, CH and FC and Police notched up wins at the end of the fifth week fixtures of the Nippon Paint Inter Club Rugby League Tournament.

Even though Kandy won this game, they had to fight to the hilt until the final whistle, with the game swinging from side to side. Eventually the Hill Capital lads snatched a five point victory which enabled them to collect the much needed bonus point too after scoring four tries. They led 19-17 at breather.

Havelocks started with a bang from the outset, executing enormous pressure on the home team using their mobile forwards. Skipper Azmir Fajudeen, Abdullah Faiz, Shehan Dias and Sandesh Jayawickrama were exceptional in gaining territory with the support of Samuel Maduwantha, the ever reliable full back who not only converted the tries but also made some fabulous kicks to touch. Havies made the initial scoring to lead by 10 points after Kandy’s Tarindu Ratwatte was sent to the Sin-Bin for a high tackle.

However, after his return the Hill Capital lads got into the act and found the much needed rhythm. Ratwatte made some cheeky moves enabling them to plant two tries in quick succession and adding the extra points himself. Kandy were able to sneak through their rival’s defences due to poor coordination in the Havies back division, and also due to poor tackling. Nevertheless, the home team had a two point lead over their rivals at the short whistle – 19-17.

After the turn around, the visitors changed gears and showed some aggression on the field. Shenal Silva fell over the goal line to increase their lead further which Maduwantha did no mistake with the conversion. Playing amidst a packed home crowd the hosts bounced back gallantly using their three quarter line which look majestic. They improvised several threatening moves to find inroads and put pressure on the rival defense. They scored eight more points to seal the game while earning their fifth consecutive bonus point which is a unique achievement.

Havelock have themselves to blame for their downfall which was due to lack of consistency. Their man marking and tackling was well below expectations which led to their defeat.

Their late resurgence was of no avail as the home team held their nerve to place the final nail on the Park Club coffin.

CH in hard fought win over Airmen

CH had to strive hard to earn a hard fought 14-10 win over Air Force at Race Course Stadium last Saturday.

After a swashbuckling performance against traditional rivals CR and FC in the fourth week fixture, the Gymkhana Club lads had an uphill task to win this game. They had a healthy lead of 14-3 at lemons, but the Airmen bombarded the home team in the second half.

Prasad Madusanka and Dinesh Lakshan made the scoring for the home team which Hirusha Sampath goaled. Gayantha Iddamalgoda hooted a penalty for the losers to make the score line-14-3 at lemons.

After the turn around, the Airmen got their act together to advance into their rivals territory and used their forwards to surge ahead. As a result, they were awarded a penalty try by Referee Kelum Sandaruwan which made the scoreline 14-10. Both teams made valiant efforts to breach each other’s goal line, but the defence never wavered.

CR go on rampage against Navy

Defending Clifford Cup Champions CR and FC went on a rampage to sink Navy 57-6 after leading 12-6 at half time. It was a scintillating performance by the Red jerseys in the second half after a slow start. It was a highly commendable performance by the whole team as they planted nine tries, of which two were scored in the first half.

In CR’s onslaught, Randy and Rinesh Silva scored two tries each, while Randul Senanayake, Raveen de Silva, Iranga Ariyapala, Warnakulasuriya and Shehan Kelaniyagoda scored a try each. Manilka Ruberu and Thenuka Nanayakkara converted the tries.

With this win, CR remain as the second team to be undefeated in the tournament after Kandy, and they also obtained the much needed bonus point.

Navy remained the only team to lose all their matches and find themselves at the bottom of the points table. As per coach Viper Gunaratne, they are a fresher laden side and require some more time to settle down as a team. The only consolation they have is that they were able to score in all their matches without losing with a barren scorecard.

Police outsmart Army

Police pulled off a 19-10 win over Army after leading 7-5 at the breather. Police once again had to work hard for their win, and they managed to bounce back in the second half to notch up the win.

Due to lack of a place kicker Army suffered another loss as they were deprived of 13 points. Had they put over these conversions it would have been their game. They lost to Havelocks 41-43 in similar fashion by a mere two points a few weeks ago. due to poor place kicking

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