Army made a resurgent comeback to secure a 24-24 draw against Police SC in their round 2 encounter of the Dialog Rugby League at Ratmalana today. This draw means that the Soldiers’ hopes of breaking the top 4 are all but gone.
The game got off to a brisk start for Army as Fijian Sosivita Boila finished off a move started from a penalty line out, making the Cops pay for their mistakes as the Soldiers drew first blood. (Army SC 05 – Police SC 00)
The Cops replied soon enough through Emosi Vunivosa, who also made his presence felt, as the Fijian took a quick tap and found the Soldiers napping He was stopped just meters from the whitewash but Police hooker Lahiru Pavithra finished the move off with a pick and go over the line. Sachith Silva made no mistake in adding the extra points. (Army SC 05 – Police SC 07)
Police then extended their lead as captain Udara Suriyapperuma injected some pace, drew in the defender and then worked the ball down the line to Udaya Sanjula who touched down for the Cops despite a desperate tackle from the Army Fullback. (Army SC 05 – Police SC 12)
After the fast-paced beginning to the match, both sides settled down and things got tight with neither giving any space for the other to score. Although there were a few line breaks by both teams, neither were able to capitalize on the breakthroughs. The teams went into the break with Police a converted try ahead of the opposition.
Half time: Army SC 05 (1T) – Police SC 12(2T, 1C)
Police SC picked up from where they left off at half time with some great passing and offloading in open play where some cheeky passes from Vunivosa and Primesh Danushka paved the way for Udaya Sanjula as he went over the line for the Cops for the second time in the match. The conversion did not go to plan however. (Army SC 05 – Police SC 17)
Army had their work cut out, now 12 points behind the Cops, but Ashan Bandara broke the Police line brilliantly to set off a stunning passage of play where veteran hooker Ashoka Jayalal made use of a quick tap to go over for the Soldiers. Gayan Salinda slotted in the extra points to Army right back into the game. (Army SC 12 – Police SC 17)
Sudaraka Dikkumbura and Vageesha Weerasinghe were caught up in a tussle midway through the half but the referee was having none of it and both players were sent off to the bin.
Police benefited from the extra man in their line as the ball from a scrum was brilliantly distributed by Iroshan Silva to his brother Sachith Silva who danced around the last Army defender to score the try which was converted by Yohan Pieris. (Army SC 12 – Police SC 24)
Kasun Maduranga pulled one back for the Soldiers not long after by scoring off a short pass to keep Army SC in the game. Salinda once again bisected the posts. (Army SC 19 – Police 24)
Army never stopped fighting and it all paid off as Sameera Bulathsinhala went over for them in the dying minutes of the game at the far end, tying up the game. Unfortunately for Army, Gayan Salinda was unable to convert the try and they had to be satisfied with a 24-24 deadlock. (Army SC 24 – Police SC 24)
Full Time: Army SC 24(4T, 2C) – Police SC 24 (4T, 2C)
ThePapare Player of the Match: Sachith Silva (Police SC)
Point scorers for Army SC Sosivita Boila 1T, Ashoka Jayalal 1T, Kasun Maduranga 1T, Sameera Bulathsinhala 1T, Gayan Salinda 2C
Point scorers for Police SC: Lahiru Pavithra 1T, Udaya Sanjula 2T, Sachith Silva 1T 1C, Yohan Pieris 1C
Cautions and send offs:
Vageesha Weerasinghe – Yellow card – Police SC
Iroshan Silva – Yellow card – Police SC
Sidaraka Dikkumbura – Yellow card – Army SC