Sri Lanka opened their campaign in the Men’s 7s tournament of the 2018 Asian Games with an emphatic win against the United Arab Emirates, before losing their potentially group-deciding game to South Korea, at the GBK Rugby Field in Indonesia on Thursday.
Having beaten UAE 68-00, Sri Lanka fought hard before losing 31-19 to South Korea. Seongmin Jang’s early brace gave South Korea a 10-00 lead within the first three minutes of the game, but Sri Lanka clawed their way back with a Srinath Sooriyabandara try, which he successfully converted to cut the deficit down to three.
South Korea’s Kunkyu Han however restored the margin with a converted try that saw the Koreans leading 17-07 into the first-half break. The game slipped further away from Sri Lanka in the second minute of the first half when Jaebok Lee scored and converted South Korea’s fourth try, but Reeza Reffaideen’s try two minutes later gave the Tuskers some hope. Han, however, ended any chances of Sri Lanka sneaking through to win scoring in the final minute of the game, virtually sealing the win and guaranteeing South Korea a top spot in Pool C.
Sudam Parinda would go on to score the last try of the game deep into added time, and despite it being converted it was not enough to overturn the deficit with the final score reading 31-26 in favour of South Korea.
Sri Lanka’s opening game proved to be a one-sided match as the Tuskers ran up ten tries in their victory against the UAE. Sooriyabandara took just 47 seconds to score Sri Lanka’s first try, before adding his team’s fourth try in the last minute of the first half. In between Sudarshana Muthuthanthri and Buddima Piyarathana also scored tries for Sri Lanka in the third and sixth minutes respectively, as Sri Lanka took a 28-00 lead into the break. Sri Lanka added a fifth try in the first minute of the second half, before the game turned into the Kavindu Perera show, as he ran in three tries in the space of two and half minutes. Perera scored his first try in the third minute, before adding two more soon after and taking Sri Lanka past the 50-point mark. Tries from Danusha Dyan and Parinda followed as Sri Lanka saw out the massive win.