Sri Lanka came into the game without skipper Srinath Sooriyabandara and Sudam Sooriyaarchchi the two usual scrumhalf’s for the Tuskers. However, Kevin Dixon made it to the starting lineup as the half-back but was forced out after facing a huge blow in the first minute. Pouncing on the opportunity, Philippines winger Joe Dawson drew first blood after busting his way through the centre channels and touched down under the post making it easy for Tim Berry who added the extra two.
Sri Lanka was struggling to find their rhythm as the Philippine players kept getting better and better. Lifting Sri Lanka up was Naveen Henakankanamage who made a dashing 60 meter run after collecting Danushka Ranjan’s offload and scoring under the post. Reeza Rafaideen slotted the ball through the uprights adding the two points.
Although the scores were level, Sri Lanka still looked disorganized and under real pressure. Capitalizing, the Philippines forwards shoved the Sri Lankan front row in a scrum, stealing possession and creating space out wide for Ryan Howe to extend his team’s lead. As Tim Berry’s conversion sailed over the uprights the referee blew the half time whistle.
Half time: PHL led 14 – 07 SL
Score breakdown: Joe Dawson 1T, Ryan Howe 1T, Tim Berry 2C, Naveen Henakankanamage 1T, Reeza Rafaideen 1C
The Tuskers continued their lackluster performance in the second half as well, failing to hold on to possession and making unforced errors. But, Philippines on the other hand came back stronger and showed a sense of urgency in their game of play.
As a result, Ryan Howe went onto score his second try after fending off Ranjan in the far corner and diving over the whitewash, sealing defeat for Sri Lanka. The home team played their hearts out in the dying moments of the game but it was a little too late as the game came to an end with Sri Lanka dropping down in their overall Asia rankings.
Full Time: PHL won 19 – 07 SL
Score breakdown: Ryan Howe 1T
Tuskers fall short against Asian giants
In the absence of Srinath Sooriybandara who dislocated his shoulder in the previous match, it was Kevin Dixon who kicked started the proceedings. The Japanese did not take much time to open their scoring with Kameli Soejima running past Danushka Ranjan for their first try.
Sri Lanka came into the game with Omalka Gunarathna and Kevin Dixon making it to the starting lineup in place of Dinuk…
The Tuskers however replied immediately with Dinuk Amarasinghe showcasing his skills yet again. Sudam Sooriyarachchi got the ball from the ruck and offloaded to Reeza Rafaideen who affected an inside pass to Amarasinghe at the halfway mark. Amarasinghe who just had the sweeper to beat, he did so with pace and some fancy footwork scoring under the post.
The Japanese immediately bounced back with a converted try by Dai Osawa. Dhanush Dayan missed the initial tackle which allowed Japan to break through. It was followed up by another converted try by Sakai. Once again it was a mistake from the Lankans which led to the try. Reeza Rafaideen tried to go for touch from the penalty spot but failed to find which gave away possession to the defending champions.
Half Time: Japan 19 – Sri Lanka 7
Japan: Kameli Soejima 1T, Dai Osawa 1T, Katsuyuki Sakai 1T,
Sri Lanka: Dinuk Amarasinghe 1T, Sudam Sooriyarachchi 1C
Tuskers needed a stronger second half if they were to make an upset in the game but it wasn’t meant to be. Ozawa went over the try line for the second time in the game after ball was turned over in the breakdown. The game was running away from the hosts but Kevin Dixon gave a glimmer of hope with a try. He took the ball from the ruck and went on the blind to score the second try for the Lankans.
However, any chances of a comeback were taken away by Japan when Sakai touched down for their 5th try of the game. Japan kept on the attack and found the whitewash once again with Soejima scoring his second try of the match.
Seconds before the final whistle, Omalka Gunaratna managed to burst through to score a consolation try for the Tuskers but it didn’t change the outcome of the game. Sri Lanka will face Philippines for the 3rd and 4th place playoff at 1756H SL Time.
Full Time: Japan 34 – Sri Lanka 17
Japan: Dai Ozawa 2T, Kameli Soejima 2T, Katsuyuki Sakai 2T 2C
Sri Lanka: Dinuk Amarasinghe 1T, Kevin Dixon 1T, Omalka Gunarathne 1T, Sudam Sooriyarachchi 1C
Hong Kong prevails over gallant Sri Lanka
Hong Kong recorded their first win on day 2 of the 3rd leg, beating Sri Lanka 21 – 12 in the Cup quarter final. The scores read 14 – 07 at half time in favour of Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka was off to a good start as Gayan Weerarathna recollected the ball from the kick off trying to spark something up for the local Tuskers. Unfortunately, Sri Lanka were pushed back inside their own territory and put under immediate pressure after losing possession trying to get out of jail. Capitalizing on the occasion Hong Kong drew first blood through their scrumhalf Cado Lee who snuck through the centre channel and dove over the try line. Jamie Hood added the extras.
Sri Lanka was struggling to hit back as the boys failed to hold onto possession. Making the home team pay was Max Denmark who scored a scintillating try after fending off Danushka Ranjan in the near corner and touching down under the post. Jamied Hood converted the try as Hong Kong jumped 14 points up 5 minutes into the game.
Sri Lanka got into deeper trouble when skipper, Srinath Sooriyabandara was forced out after taking a heavy blow on his shoulder. However, Gayan Weerarathna and replacement Kevin Dixon got Sri Lanka’s first points on the board when Weerarathna’s offload found Dixon who stepped off two defenders and went under the post. Sudam Sooriyaarachchi bisected the post as Sri Lanka went into half time trailing by just one goal.
Half time: HK led 14 – 07 SL
Score breakdown: Cado Lee 1T, Max Denmark 1T, Jamie Hood 2C, Kevin Dixon 1T, Sudam Sooriyaarachchi 1C
The second half started off on a high note for Hong Kong as Max Denmark’s athleticism proved to be the difference in the match. He collected the ball mid-air from the kick off and bumped off the defender going straight under the post scoring his second and the team’s third try. Hood added the extras extending Hong Kong’s lead.
Sri Lanka was desperately trying all they had but failed to execute their moves well enough until Reeza Raffaideen pounced on a loose ball and sprinted straight over in the far corner lifting the hopes up for Sri Lanka. Dixon’s kick from the corner fell just short of the uprights as Sri Lanka were trailing by nine points.
Putting an end of it was Cado Lee who kicked the ball out after collecting it from the restart, securing Hong Kong’s victory.
Full time: HK won 21 – 12 SL
Score breakdown: Max Denmark 1T, Jamie Hood 1C, Reeza Rafaideen 1T