Navy Sports Club powered their way to a smashing 25-14 victory over a star-studded Havelocks Sports Club outfit in their Dialog Inter-Club ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match worked off at Welisara on Saturday (18).
The Sailors got off to a spectacular start as they build up a commanding 22-7 lead at half time and then held on determinedly during the latter stages to register a memorable victory.
Altogether it was a tremendous effort from Navy SC who were able to bounce back from last week’s 23-38 defeat at the hands of CR and FC.
Navy SC went on to collect their points from two goals, one try, one penalty and one drop goalas they also brought an end to Havelocks’ unbeaten record in the current season.
The Havies of course showed promise in the beginning as they scored an early try but could not maintain the same momentum and managed to score only two goals in the end.
In fact Havelocks’ second try of the match which came shortly before the final whistle was of academic interest as by that time Navy SC had already sealed the contest in their favour.
After conceding an early try to their opponents, the home side struck back with a vengeance while scoring three back-to-back tries inside 30 minutes.
First it was wing three quarter Mushin Faleel who dashed through the Havelocks’ defence to touch down almost under the post after the entire back division had joined in the line.
Full back Thilina Weerasinghe made no mistake with the conversion and few minutes later the dynamic full back converted a penalty to give Navy SC the lead for the first time in the match.
Navy SC kept on attacking the Havelocks’ try line and they were rewarded for all their hard work with Lahiru Wishwajith and Supun Peiris going over for a try each.
Navy SC of course managed to convert only a drop goal in the second half through the boot of full back Thilina Weerasinghe.
However, they put up a solid defence to frustrate the Havelocks’ team and conceded only a solitary try in the second half.
Kevin Dixon and Shenal Dheelaka did the scoring for Havelocks SC with Reiza Mubarak converting both tries.
PREVIEW: Melder boosts Havies in Navy clash
By Harsha Amarasinghe
Havelock Sports Club Captain Jason Melder has recovered from a minor injury to feature in the starting line-up against Navy Sports Club in their Dialog Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament match to be worked off at Welisara today (18).
Melder missed the second game of the season last week due to an ankle injury but has been passed fit for this crucial encounter.
The former St. Joseph’s College Skipper has been playing as a lock forward for most of his career but on Saturday, the giant forward will join Dushmantha Priyadarshana and Prasath Madushanka in the front row with Liston Flatney dropping to the bench.
Lasindu Ishan is expected to make his first start of the season against the Sailors as the first choice number eight Sithum Pieris has suffered a minor injury which will see him miss today’s game.
The only Science College Skipper to have won the President’s Trophy, Lasindu made himself a regular starter in the Havies line-up last season but the recent form of Peiris kept him on the bench, so Lasindu will take this opportunity to solidify his place in the team.
Centre Hirantha Perera and wing three quarter Kevin Dixon are in pretty good form at the moment as both the back division players scored twice each in their victory over Air Force SC last week.
The Havies have already scored as many as 13 tries this season and they would look to continue their rich form at Welisara.
There would also be an interesting battle between the two full backs Riza Mubarak (Havelock SC) and Thilina Weerasinghe (Navy SC) who are both known as very fine place kickers.
Weerasinghe had a dreadful game in terms of his kicking last week when they were beaten by CR but he could prove to be the key man for the Sailors in this game.
Navy SC have made one change to their starting line-up bringing in Ravin de Silva to the second row in place of prop forward Roshan Ranasinghe which would force Lahiru Vishwajith to move into the front row.
Wing three quarter Buddhima Piyarathne needs to come good for the Sailors. The Sri Lanka Sevens star player met with an unfortunate accident a few weeks ago but is now fully fit so he would hope to produce a better display.
Navy SC: Kasun de Silva, Dulanjana Wijesinghe, Lahiru Vishwajith, Ravin de Silva, Supun Peiris, Adeesha Weeratunga, Danushka Perera (Captain), Janith Laksara, Richie Dharmapala and Mohamed Abzal, Buddhima Piyarathne, Mushin Faleel, Lahiru Herath, Supun Dilshan, Thilina Weerasinghe.
Havelock SC: Jason Melder (Captain), Prasath Madushanka, Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Shanaka Bandara, Sharo Fernando, Senal Deelaka, Shehan Dias, Lasindu Ishan, Sudam Parinda and Niroshan Fernando, Kevin Dixon, Hirantha Perera, Nishon Perera, Sandun Herath, Riza Mubarak.