Kandy SC outplay CR and FC in thriller
It was red hot rugby which was dished out before the defending Caltex
Rugby League champions Kandy Sports Club outsmarted their challengers CR
and FC by 18 points ( 1 goal, 1 try, 2 penalties ) to 15 ( 3 tries ) in
their first leg of the Caltex league rugby tournament match played
before a very large crowd at Nittawela yesterday. At half time Kandy SC
It was champagne rugby all the way as both teams for once played
clean and hard which was relished by the large crowd present.
This was an example how rugby should be played as every phase of play
was well contested and there was no fraying of tempers or exchange of
fisticuffs and even the tackling was clean and fair.
The scrums and line outs appeared to be evenly shared and it was in
the loose play that Kandy held the advantage through some fiery play by
No. S. Imran Bisthamin, flankers Sean Wijesinghe, and Dilip Selvam.
Their three quarters especially Sanjeewa Jayasinghe and Sajith
Mallikarachchi tackled well to stop the hard running CR and FC back
division from making any headway.
The reigning champions Kandy Sports Club dominated play in the first
ten minutes of the game and during this period they could have opened
through a penalty which was fluffed by scrum half Saliya Kumara from a
very difficult angle.
But Kandy did not have to wait for long to open their account as in
the 16th minute, they won a line out in mid field and the ball changed
hands through Fazil Marija and Pradeep Liyanage before scrum half Saliya
Kumara sliced through the defence to score far left and Radhika
Hettiarachchi failed to add the extra points Kandy led 5-0.
In the 24th minute the red shirts were penalised for ‘going over the
top and scrum half Saliya Kumara fired a 35 metre penalty for Kandy SC
to increase their lead to 8-0. But the visitors were not overawed by
this situation as they came storming into the game through some bustling
play which rattled Kandy and they fell back into defensive play.
In the 30th minute the red shirts won a line out deep inside Kandy
territory and their forwards drove powerfully and vigorously for prop
forward Terrence Henry to fall over far left. Fly half Dev Anand failed
to add the extra points. CR 5-8. thus setting the stage for a pitched
In the 34th minute Kandy won a line out in their opponents territory
and the ball moved through the hands of stand off Fazil Marija, Dilip
Selvam before centre Sajith Mallikarachchi crashed through the defence
to fall over on the line, mid right. Scrum half Saliya Kumara added the
extra points Kandy led 15-5.
But the red shirts fought tooth and nail to harass Kandy’s defence
which stood firm for sometime. After a couple of scrums, CR and FC were
awarded a penalty a few metres from the Kandy line and No. 8 Dushantha
Lewke taking the short tap powered his way to score mid left. Dev Anand
failed to add the extra points. CR 10-5.
Shortly afterwards the red shirts came close to scoring when fly half
Dev Anand collecting a kick ahead sprinted a good 40 metres before being
brought down by centre Sajith Mallikarachchi with a fine tackle.
In the 23rd minute the red shirts scored their third try when their
hooker Anuja Perera getting the ball from the line out sneaked his way
to score by the right corner flag and this try went unconverted with
Reza Mubarak’s kick being off target.
The scores were level at 15 all. In the 39th minutes the red shirts
made a serious blunder when they were penalised for holding on to the
ball and scrum half Saliya Kumara fired a 35 metre penalty to put Kandy
ahead again 18-15.
In the final four minutes of play the red shirts were almost on the
Kandy line and they did everything but score with Kandy’s three quarters
tackling hard and thwarting the attempts of their opponents.
James Fitzgerald from the Arabian Gulf refereed