Unruly crowd behaviour at Kandy-Air Force match
Defending champions Kandy Sports Club kept their unbeaten record
intact when they registered their fifth successive win for the season by
defeating Sri Lanka Air Force by 18 points (1 goal, 1 try, 2 penalties)
to 11 (1 try, 2 penalties) in their Caltex League Rugby Tournament match
played at Nittawela yesterday. At half time Kandy SC led 13-6.
But the match was marred by rough play and spectator fights and at
one stage over 25 minutes play was lost due to crowd disturbance.
It happened this way. In the 28th minute, two players from the Air
Force and Kandy SC were seen in a scuffle and referee Aruna Rankothge
showed the yellow card and sent on ‘sin bin’ flanker Vasantha Senarath
of Air Force and prop Kasun Yasaisuru of Kandy SC. The crowds jeered and
fighting broke out between the supporters of two teams and they spilled
on to the playing area and the match had to be stopped. Both teams after
waiting for sometime walked into the dressing room till peace was
Air Force opened scoring in the third minute through a 35-metre
penalty fired by centre Radhika Hettiarachchi. But three minutes later
Kandy equalized through a 40-metre penalty put over by scrum Roshan
In the ninth minute Kandy took over the lead when fly half Fazil
Marija collecting a pass from Roshan Weeraratne made a blazing 50-metre
run chased by a host of Air Force defenders to score under the post.
Scrum half Roshan Weeraratne added the extra points. Kandy 10-3. In the
20th minute another penalty put over Roshan Weeraratne saw Kandy extend
their lead to 13-3 when the match was stopped.
When the match was resumed 25 minutes later, the Airmen reduced the
lead through a penalty put by centre Radhika Hettiarachchi.
Almost immediately after the short blast Kandy increased their lead
when scrum half Roshan Weeraratne sent a quick pass to centre Gayan
Weeraratne who went over by the left corner flag. Roshan Weeraratne
failed to add the extra points. Kandy 18-6.
In the 10th minute of the second half a scrum deep inside Kandy
territory saw Air Force hooker Uditha Jayasuriya falling over far left
and Rajitha Sansoni failed to add the extra points. (18-11).
Aruna Rankothge refereed