Kandy SC produce ‘Sevens’ masterclass to be crowned champions | Daily News


 

Kandy SC produce ‘Sevens’ masterclass to be crowned champions

Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager – Brand & Media, Dialog Axiata PLC, handing over the Sevens cup championship to Nigel Ratwatte captain of Kandy SC. Nazeem Mohamed – Vice President, Sri Lanka Rugby, Thisara Kasthuriarachchi - General Manager - Mobile Broadband and Pre-Paid Mobile Business - Dialog Axiata PLC and Thusitha Peiris – Honorary Secretary, Sri Lanka Rugby are also present. Picture by Sudam Gunasinghe
Harsha Samaranayake, Senior General Manager – Brand & Media, Dialog Axiata PLC, handing over the Sevens cup championship to Nigel Ratwatte captain of Kandy SC. Nazeem Mohamed – Vice President, Sri Lanka Rugby, Thisara Kasthuriarachchi - General Manager -

League champions Kandy SC produced a clinical masterclass to emerge champions of the Dialog Rugby Club 7’s tournament with an emphatic 24-12 win in the Cup final against CR & FC at Racecourse Stadium, Colombo yesterday.

Kandy SC throttled the opposition with their power and pace throughout the two days of competition, living up to their tag as favourites and executing their game plan to almost perfection to crown themselves as Sevens Rugby kings once again.

Despite Havelocks causing an upset of sorts on the opening day when they beat CH & FC, last year’s overall champions in the two-leg event, and CR & FC racking up the most number of points in the pool matches, Kandy SC were undoubtedly the team to beat with others just playing catch up.

They were in cruise control and looked like champions the moment they stepped into the field, rarely putting a step wrong and were almost impregnable in defence.

Sri Lanka star Srinath Sooriyabandara made a welcome return from an injury lay-off, as he set the ball rolling for Kandy SC with a hat-trick of tries in their 32-0 Cup quarter-final romp against Air Force in the morning.

There were ominous signs in their 29-5 demolition of Havelocks who managed a consolation try at the fag end of the Cup semifinals through Mithun Hapugoda after Kandy SC had touched down five times, including two scorching efforts either side of the break from player of the tournament Kavindu Perera.

CR lacked fluency in their Cup quarter-final, being made to sweat by Navy before pulling off a 17-7 but managed to step up a gear in the semifinal against Police surging ahead 14-0 at half-time through tries by Janidu Dilshan and Wajid Fawmy.

Police knocked out defending champions CH & FC A 28-12 with a power-packed performance in the Cup quarter-finals, but failed to contain the rampaging CR fliers Fawmy and Kevin Dixon in the second period though replying with two tries from Wageesha Weerasinghe and Sajith Silva but were beaten comprehensively 26-12.

The stage seemed set for a scintillating Cup final but Kandy SC led by fly half Nigel Ratwatte were in control from the opening whistle displaying their sublime ball handling skills and pace. Ironically CR’s skipper just a few months ago Kavindu Perera, drew first blood in the opening minutes of the final which was refereed by Aaqil Jamaldeen chosen ahead of foreign referee James Fairbourn, when he breezed round the defence after an overlap created by Danushka Ranjan to score under the posts. Lavanga Perera then stepped past a couple of defenders before rolling across the line for an unconverted try as Kandy SC led 12-0.

Not to be outdone, CR skipper Reza Raffaideen raced across on the left flank on the stroke of half time with Chanaka Chandimal converting the try to close the gap 12-7.

Kandy SC surged ahead 17-7 with Jason Dissanayake scoring and Sooriyabandara adding the extra points while Raffaideen missed an opportunity to break free from midfield when he failed to latch onto a pass.

Kavindu Perera sealed CR’s fate by scoring his eighth try of the tournament when he breezed across the line after taking a quick penalty tap with Thilina Jayasinghe converting to give them a 24-7 cushion.

Kevin Dixon’s try which was converted by Janidu Dilshan came too little too late for CR to make a dent in Kandy SC’s march to victory.

Navy won a high-scoring Plate final 24-19 against Air Force with a last-gasp try by Sri Lanka winger Buddhima Piyaratne.

The scores were deadlocked twice at 12-12 and 19-19. After Navy scored through Harsha Maduranga and Adisha Weeratunga, Air Force equalized 12-12 through tries from Ishara Herath and Dayantha Iddamalagoda at half-time. Navy edged ahead with a try by Piyaratne while Air Force drew level again with a try by Charith Seneviratne.

Police emerged Bowl champions defeating Army 12-7 through tries by Primesh Perera and Krishantha Alahakoon after Krishantha Pushpakumara scored first for Army.

Debutants Malay CC created history by making it to the Shield final after outplaying Galle RFC 33-5 but ran out of steam against Air Force who won comfortably 24-0.

Results:

Quarter-finals

Cup/Plate: Havelocks bt Army A 24-7, Kandy SC bt Air Force A 32-0, Police A bt CH & FC A 28-12, CR & FC bt Navy A 17-7; Bowl/Shield: Army B bt Malay CC 22-12, CH & FC B bt Galle RFC 38-19, Navy B bt Peterson RFC 38-7, Police B bt Air Force B 19-5;

Semifinals

Cup: Kandy SC bt Havelocks 29-5, CR & FC bt Police A 26-12; Plate: Air Force A bt Army A 21-15, Navy A bt CH & FC A 33-5; Bowl: Army B bt CH & FC B 19-12, Police B bt Navy B 17-10; Shield: Malay CC bt Galle RFC 33-5, Air Force B bt Peterson RFC 40-12;

Finals

Cup: Kandy SC bt CR & FC 24-12; Plate: Navy A bt Air Force A 24-19; Bowl: Police B bt Army B 12-7; Shield: Air Force B bt Malay CC 24-0


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