By Harsha Amarasinghe
Havelock Sports Club Head Coach Sanath Martis had predicted on Thursday that his team was 'going as underdogs,' but they dominated most part of their Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament match against the CH and FC at Havelock Park today (16).
However, it still required a last minute try to secure a nail-biting 30-29 victory after an unbelievable display of place kicking from the CH and FC fly half Samuel Maduwantha.
Former St. Peter's College hooker Rahal Delpachithra came off the bench to score the match winning try in the very last minute as the heavy pack of Havelock SC outmuscled CH to cross the line leaving a simple conversion to full back Riza Mubarak.
Maduwantha had earlier put his side on course to their first victory of the season with some cracking penalties and conversions. The former St. Anthony's College kicking sensation put over five penalties including two magnificent 60 metre kicks.
Wing three quarter Anuradha Herath was the only other points’ scorer for the CH and FC as he bagged a brilliant brace with Maduwantha converting both tries.
The Havies on the other hand stuck to their strength which was their pack and it appeared that Martis' plan was to exploit the CH inexperience in the pack especially with top players like Sajith Saranga being ruled out.
The Havies led by Dushmantha Priyadarshana was lethal in the line-outs as they looked unstoppable in certain stages of the game and young hooker Azmir Fajudeen should also be given credit for his accuracy with the throw-ins while his opposite number Prasath Madushanka had an ordinary game on his return to Havelock Park.
Priyadarshana got himself in the score sheet in the first half and led his fellow forwards so well that at times it gave the impression that they could play even without backs.
The late introduction of scrum half Mithun Hapugoda and fly half Sandesh Jayawickrama too had a massive impact of the game as they brought their backs more into the game.