By Harsha Amarasinghe
Kandy Sports Club’s heroics (24-10) at Longden Place on Saturday (2) demonstrated exactly why they are too good for the rest of the teams competing in the Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament.
CR and FC are a formidable team and they didn’t play poorly against Kandy SC by any means, but the defending champions looked absolutely untroubled.
There are probably one or two teams that could match Kandy SC’s forward pack like Navy SC or the CH and FC, but there is just too much of quality in that backline of the team from the Hill Capital.
When players like Danushka Ranjan, Anurudda Wilwara and Richard Dharmapala are on top of their game, not many teams could actually cope with it.
The second half was played under very heavy rains, but Kandy utilised their experience in quickly becoming accustomed to the conditions.
Centre Danushka Ranjan’s spectacular try is a fine example on how well they adapted to the conditions.
Kandy SC looked to work the ball as they usually do initially, but once the rain got heavier they brought in the territorial game.
Wilwara may not have been given a sevens’ contract by Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR) which is a horrendous decision, but the former Thomian just can’t stop scoring at the moment.
The dynamic wing three quarter scored his seventh try of the season to put Kandy SC ahead, but CR and FC full-back Chamod Fernando should have done better to prevent the senior player from crossing the white line.
Fernando was one of the standout performers for Isipathana College last year and a player with a huge potential, but the full back is certainly not ready for Inter-Club rugby at the moment, and making him look like a liability in games like this could only destroy his confidence.
Police held by CH
Police SC was left to rue a great opportunity to register their first victory of the season as they settled for a 21-all draw against an injury-hit CH and FC side on Friday (1) at the Police Park.
Fly half Sandesh Jayawickrama probably had his best game of this season against the CH and FC, and without the former St. Peter’s captain’s contributions, the Cops could have easily slumped to their fifth straight defeat.
At one point, they were leading 6-0 and were doing just fine, but CH and FC full back Dinushan Ariyapala’s try in the latter stages of the first half ended their resistance.
From that moment, the Cops were chasing the game.
They even had a one point lead at half time, but it was felt like CH and FC’s game to lose and Police SC would have probably been relieved that Jayawickrama put over a late penalty to save the day, but this does not take them out of the bottom.
Navy keep up the pace
Navy SC sealed an unimpressive, but hugely significant victory (10-0) over Air Force SC at Welisara on Friday (1).
The team from Ratmalana is one of the in-form sides of the bottom half, but has caused problems to bigger teams in the recent years.
The Sailors really had to grind out the victory and not only did they manage to do that, but also made sure the high flying Airmen headed back to Ratmalana absolutely empty handed.
Hooker Dulanjana Wijesinghe was once again the sole try scorer for Navy SC. The former Wesley College forward grabbed the headline with a late try to beat Police SC last week, and played even better against Air Force SC.
He was bizarrely overlooked for National duties last year, but it would be a big shock if he doesn’t make it this time around.
Havies bag bonus point
Havelocks SC took the field against a deadly Army SC side on Saturday (2) at Police Park knowing that one more defeat would demolish whatever the chances they have to land the Inter-Club League title.
But Jason Melder’s Team could not have asked for a better end result as they bagged a bonus point win despite conceding three tries.
Centres Nishon Perera, Hirantha Perera and the two wing three quarters R. Fernando and Chamara Dabare all scored a try each which is a very good sign for the Havies but they are certainly going to miss the injured Kevin Dixon.
Despite the defeat Army SC could take a lot of positives out of this game. Scoring three tries against a team like Havelocks’ is a decent effort.