By Sandun Kodithuwakku
CR and FC commenced the second round of the Dialog Rugby League 2019/20 with a thumping 53 – 15 win over Air Force Sports Club at Longden Place today (07).
The Red shirts racked five goals, three tries and one penalty, while Air Force SC managed one goal, one try and a penalty. The winners led 20 – 15 at the breather.
The home team started the game with a penalty off centre Murshid Zubair’s boot in the 5th minute.
In the 12th minute, Air Force managed to commence their scoring when full-back Gayantha Iddamalgoda booted a 22-meter penalty kick.
CR scored their first try in the 17th minute with their flanker Wajid Fawmy scoring an unconverted try mid-right.
Soon after, CR further extended their lead when fly-half Kalindu Nandila touched down in style. Zubair put over his first conversion as CR took a 15 – 3 lead.
Air Force got themselves back in the game when their skipper Ranuka Madagedara touched down. Iddamalgoda added the extras.
Thereafter, Air Force number eight Dinesh Weerarathne crashed through for an unconverted try off a rolling maul, to level the scores.
In the 40th minute, full-back Kevin Dixon scored CR’s third try to amend the scores to 20 – 15 as they took a slender lead of five points at the breather.
After the break, the Air Force defence cracked under pressure as CR scored a couple of back-to-back tries through flanker Jero Dhananjaya and wing three-quarter and the league’s highest try scorer Janidu Dilshan to gain a much needed bonus point for the current second-placed outfit.
Four minutes later CR further extended their lead through a try off a rolling maul when Hooker Supun Warnakulasooriya barged over mid-left and the conversion was successfully made by Riza Rafaideen. CR led 39 – 15.
In the 75th minute CR scrumhalf Harith Bandara playing in the last line of defence scored a try near the mid-right with a fine movement. Riza Mubarak added the extra points as CR led 46 – 15.
In the final minutes of the game, a moment of individual brilliance saw Dilshan fend off his opposite number Kaushal Manuppriya by showing great upper body strength and offload the ball to score an under-the-post try. The conversion was successfully made by Mubarak, to amend the scores to 53 – 15 as CR recorded a convincing victory.