Police SC came on top in an enthralling affair against Army SC at the Diyagama Mahinda Rajapaksha grounds in a Dialog Rugby League encounter as the final score read 27-21 in favor of the cops.
Police got off the blocks in sublime fashion as they took their hosts’ Army by surprise with their guile and venom which looked menacing for the latter. It wasn’t long till Police forced an error in defense from the Soldiers as they opened the path for the first points. Rajitha Sansoni duly obliged as he pierced the sticks to put the cops in front. (Army SC 0-3 Police SC)
Police kept pressing with a spring in their step9 as a try seemed inevitable with their relentless pressure. Chals Praveen the hard hitting lock bisected the Army defense as Police added to five more to the tally. Soon after Sansoni converted the try to give the visitors a two digit lead. (Army SC 0 -10 Police SC)
However with the home crowd getting in on the act Army responded in quick succession as last week’s man of the match against Navy, Ashoka Jayalal went over the line for the first points for the hosts. Gayan Salinda continued his impressive few weeks with the boot as he added the conversion to reduce to the deficit for the Soldiers. (Army SC 7 – 10 Police SC)
Just when the hosts seems have turned a corner to gain momentum, they were pegged back with another defensive error as Sansoni stepped up to add to his tally for the evening and the cops pulled away once again adding three more to the tally. (Army SC 7 – 13 Police SC)
With a depleted Army looking resourceless in defense Police hit back once again before lemons, as Hooker Danilsha Disanayake carried visiting Police in the half with a healthy lead as he crossed the line at the end of a commanding move. Sansoni did the honors ones again with his boot as Army well and truly had their work cut out for the second half. (Army SC 7 – 20 Police SC)
Half time – Army SC 7 – 20 Police SC
Army kicked things off in perfect style in the second half, as their skipper Manoj Desilva bullied his way through a sleeping Police defense to bring the hosts right back into it. Gayan Salinda put through a bread and butter kick through the posts and Army were once again within touching distance. (Army SC 14 – 20 Police SC).
Police seemed rattled by the early Army onslaught as they conceded possession rather cheaply, as a result it opened the door for bustling Army forwards which eventually resulted in substitute Arvinda Karunarathna making his first contribution by crossing the line for the hosts. Gayan Salinda did the honors as he gave the lead for the hosts for the first time of the game. (Army SC 21 – 20 Police SC)
Police after the double setback regrouped quite fast as they went back to their game plan from the first half. Experienced forwards took the game to the Soldiers as ones again the hosts had to be content with last ditch defending.
The Police perseverance finally paid off during the last quarter of the game as yet another substitute Piuam Jayasinghe crossed the line at the end of a robust offensive move by the cops. Sasonsi delivered under pressure as Police had a 6 point lead with little over 10 minutes on the clock. (Army SC 21 – 27 Police SC)
Despite being numerically crippled after losing Udara Suriyapperuma to the bin, the experienced Police defense held on to take the points besides a spirited Army surge right at the depth.
Full time – Army SC 21 – 27 Police SC
ThePapare.com Player of the match: Rajitha Sansoni (Police SC)
Speaking to ThePapare.com the coach of Police SC Sugath Sampath “We have an inexperienced team comprising of many recent school leavers so we had a very slow start to the season. However now we’re finding our feet despite losing so many close games at the beginning of the season. I’m glad about the victory and we’re hosting CR and FC next week at home and we hope carry this momentum and perform well against them”
Police SC – Chals Praveen 1T, Danilsha Disanayake 1T, Piaum Jayasinghe 1T, Rajitha Sansoni 3C,2P
Army SC – Ashoka Jayalal 1T, Manoj Desilva 1T, Aravinda Karunarathna 1T,Gayan Salinda 3C