Army SC proved to be too strong and too fit as the hosts Air Force struggled to gain a much needed win at home in their 2nd week clash of the Dialog Rugby League. The Airmen failed keep up the intensity which they had at the beginning and had to succumb to 29-21 loss as they still remain pointless in the season.
Both team came into the game with a few worries in their head after the first week losses. However it looked like the hosts have gotten rid of the demons as they notched up two quick tries inside the first ten minutes. Army were down to 14 with Nalan Premanath in naughty chair. Lahiru Udayanga Kumara touched down after barging run through the middle and it was followed up by Thilina Bandara who did the finished touches after few phases from the restart. Both were converted with ease by Gayantha Iddamalgoda. (AFSC 14 – ASC 0)
After a exhilarating first 20 minutes Air Force looked out of shape. Their defence was scattered and it only opened up the game for the visiting soldiers. They scored two back to back tries within 5 minutes to shift the momentum in their favour. The ball was turned over in the half way and kicked deep by Army. Their chases got to the ball and the scattered defence gave Army enough space to work their way over the line. It was Upul Abeyaratna who claimed the try to open the scoring for Army. The experienced Gayan Salinda added the extras. (AFSC 14 – ASC 7)
Immediately from the restart Mohammad Rizvi found a way around the defence to draw back the deficit to just 2 points. Army did not hold back and they were rewarded for their perseverance as Pushpa Kumara carried ball through a rolling maul and touched down to put Army in the lead for the first time.
Half Time: Air Force SC 14 – Army SC 19
The second half was the ideal climax for the spectators but not so much for the referees. A total of 6 yellow cards were shown in the second half itself to go with another 2 in the first. However, After conceding a lead of 5 points going into the break, the hosts bounced back with a converted try by Thilina Bandara. This was his second for the game as Air Force used the width of the pitch to open up spaces on the outside. Iddamalgoda added the extras. (AFSC 21 – ASC 19)
CR & FC secured their second consecutive victory in the..
Army fought back with a few good phases inside their attacking half and out of no where Ashan Bandara who was invisible in the game, shot a drop goal from 40m out to put army ahead by one point going into the final 20 minutes. (AFSC 21 – ASC 22)
From there on, the momentum shifted towards the visitors and they went on to score another try through Boila Sosiveta, their foreign player. The intensity of Army proved too much at the end as the soldiers secured their first points for the season. As for Airforce, they will have to look into their fitness levels as the tournament progresses.
Full Time: Army SC 29 – Air Force SC 21
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Upul Abeyaratna (Army)
Army: Upul Abeyaratna 2T, Boila Sosiveta 1T, Mohammad Rizvi 1T, Pushpa Kumara 1T, Ashan Bandara 1DG, Gayan Salinda 2C, Isuru Madagedara 1C
Air Force: Lahiru Udayanga Kumara 1T, Thilina Bandara 2T, Gayantha Iddamalgoda 2C, Aruna Perera 1C