By Harsha Amarasinghe
Havelock Sports Club have been boosted by the return of fly half Dulaj Perera ahead of their Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament match against the CR & FC at Havelock Park today (27).
The former St. Peter’s College player missed their 24-all draw with Police SC last week due to a shoulder injury in a game where his presence was dearly missed.
The 25-year-old will come into the starting line-up in place of Rajitha Sansoni.
Skipper Jason Melder who was rested for the previous game has been brought back to the first XV as he has joined Sharo Fernando in the second row replacing Shanaka Bandara while flanker Senal Deelaka has secured a place in the starting line-up with Gihan Perera dropping to the bench.
Senior player Dushmantha Priyadarshana who only appeared off the bench against the Cops, has been restored in the first XV.
Meanwhile, scrum-half Sudam Parinda has been dropped to the bench despite scoring two cracking tries in the last game against Police with Rahul de Silva coming into the side while Chamara Dabare has been brought back to replace Vimukthy Rahul.
CR & FC have dealt a major blow as number eight Omalka Gunarathne has been ruled out of the game with a knee injury.
The former Sri Lanka junior and Isipathana College Captain has been one of their best players in a quite average season for the Red Shirts, but his absence in such an important match is certainly a massive setback.
This means Taariq Salhi will move to number eight while Hirantha Manamendra has come back to the side as flanker.
The Longden Place Club will also be without Charana Chamikara due to an injury which has forced them to push Hafeez Noor to second row while bringing in Kokila Sammandapperuma into the front row.
Fly-half Tarinda Ratwatte will be starting the game as fly half with Avishka Heenpella set to be the scrum half once again in the absence of Kavindu de Costa.
Rehan Silva will partner Captain Kavindu Perera in centre while wing three quarter Chamod Fernando has retained his place in the squad.
Havelock SC: Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Prasath Madushanka, Liston Flatney, Sharo Fernando, Jason Melder, Senal Deelaka, Shehan Dias, Lasindu Ishan, Rahul de Silva and Dulaj Perera, Chamara Dabare, Hirantha Perera, Nishon Perera, Ramesh Fernando, Rizah Mubarak.
CR & FC: Kokila Sammandapperuma, Supun Waranakulasooriya, Gayan Jayasekara, Hafeez Noor, Hirantha Manamendra, Shemal Weerasekara, Taariq Salhi, Avishka Heenpella and Tarinda Ratwatte, Reeza Raffaideen, Rehan Silva, Kavindu Perera, Chamod Fernando, Nalin Kumara.
Unchanged Navy look to maintain second round form
By Harsha Amarasinghe
Kandy Sports Club has been given a fresh injury concern with the in-form wing three quarter Anurudda Wilwara being ruled out of the crucial game in which the defending champions could mathematically secure the Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby title as they face Navy Sports Club in Welisara today.
Having recovered from a yearlong knee injury, Wilwara has been on fire for the reigning champions with ten tries in nine games this season, but the former S. Thomas speedster suffered another knee injury on the same leg during the midweek after which the club sent the 26-year-old for an MRI scan on Thursday. The reports are yet to emerge, and another long term injury for the country’s number one wing three quarter could be a devastating blow for Kandy as well the Sri Lanka Sevens team.
Wilwara will be replaced by Lavanga Perera while Richard Dharmapala has returned to the starting line-up after serving a one-game ban due to foul play.
Wing three quarter Danush Dayan is also set for a spell on the sidelines with an ankle injury which forced him out during their victory last week over CH and FC. The former St. Anthony’s rugby star will be replaced by Dharmapala.
Kandy has recalled prop Ashan Darling to the first XV in place of Uchitha Jayasooriya with Yakoob Ali moving to hooker position while Heshan Silva has been preferred to Dimitri Wijetunga in second row.
Navy Sports Club on the other hand are expected to send an unchanged team from their commanding win over CR and FC last week.
Led by Dhanushka Perera, the Sailors have been in sensational form especially in the second round having won all four games they played, as a result they have climbed to the second spot of the points table.
The Navy management revealed that hooker Dulanjana Wijesinghe will not be in the starting line-up though but is certain to make an appearance off the bench having touched down last week.
Full-back Thilina Weerasinghe has been in staggering form in the recent past having scored as many as six tries in his last three games and the former Kingswood place kicker has racked up over 70 points in the second round taking his overall tally to 146.
Navy: Kasun de Silva, Amitha Gunasinghe, Charith Silva, Stephan Gregory, Supun Pieris, Adeesha Weeratunga, Dhanushka Perera, Raveen de Silva, Harsha Maduranga and Mohamed Abzal, Buddhima Piyarathne, Mushin Faleel, Thanuja Maduranga, Supun Dilshan, Thilina Weerasinghe
Kandy: Ganuka Dissanayake, Yakoob Ali, Ashan Darling, Suhiru Anthony, Heshan Silva, Tharindu Chathuranga, Jason Dissanayake, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Srinath Sooriyabandara and Fazil Marija, Richard Dharmapala, Gayan Weeraratne, Dhanushka Ranjan, Lavanga Perera, Nigel Ratwatte
Police, Air Force in bottom of table clash
By Harsha Amarasinghe
Police Sports Club are yet to register a victory in the Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament, but could move off the bottom of the points table with a win over Air Force Sports Club at Police Park today (27).
Police were denied what could have been their first victory of the season, last week when they were held to a 24-24 draw against Havelock Sports Club at home.
Despite remaining in the rock bottom all season, they have an opportunity to climb up to seventh place should they overcome the Airmen.
Police have brought in second row Nisal Samadhi in place of Mohan Wimalaratne while Romesh Acharige has paved way for Shanaka Harishchandra who will join Wajid Fawmy in the third row along with Kavinda Jayasundara who will replace Sajith Saram.
Police SC produced some breathtaking rugby last week with their backline in superb form.
Wing three quarter Sujan Kodithuwakku caused all sorts of problems to Havelock backs last week and he could certainly be the one to watch out for.
Police SC forwards were instrumental in earning that 24-all draw last week and their second half substitutes such as Romesh Acharige made a big difference and that is something that the Airmen may well have to keep a close eye on.
Air Force SC will be without their star player Radeesha Seneviratne for this game as the former Vidyartha College flanker has suffered a knee injury to be replaced by Suraj Tillakaratne.
Ranidu Padmasanka meanwhile is set to partner senior player Charith Seneviratne at centre while the in-form duo Pabasara Hewage and Ishara Madushan will look to keep up their try scoring form.
Police SC: Lahiru Pavithra, Charles Praveen, Dhanushka Edirisooriya, Nisal Samadhi, Udara Sooriyapperuma, Shanaka Harishchandra, Wajid Fawmy, Kavinda Jayasundara, Hashan Gomez and Sandesh Jayawickrama, Janik Chanaka, Lahiru Gurusinghe, Janith Chandimal, Sujan Kodithuwakku, Suranga Kasun.
Air Force SC: Charles Praveen, S. Lahiru, Ranuka Medagedara, Nilantha Adikari, Supun Madushanka, Gimhana Silva, Suraj Tillakaratne, Saraka Warella, Nuwan Perera and Gayantha Iddamalgoda, Pabasara Hewage, Charith Senevirathne, Ranidu Padmasanka, Ishara Madushanka, Rumesh Ramdas.