A fightback in the second half was not enough to prevent the inevitable as the Tuskers went down fighting to the Republic of Korea 31-24 in their second group stage game at the Asian Games played at the GBK Stadium in Indonesia.
The Koreans had a perfect start to the game, scoring in the very first minute with Seongmnin but missed out on adding the extras. Seongmin continued his good form and the second try for Korea came shortly after.
Trailing 10-0, it was the veteran Srinath Sooriyabandara who creeped through the big Koreans to score the all important try and later converted it himself. Trailing by 3, (10-7) the pendulum didn’t swing in favour of the Tuskers when Han Kunkyo intercepted the ball in the breakdown to score a converted try.
Halftime – Sri Lanka 7 trail Korea 17
Making their way to stage a comeback, things still didn’t seem to go Lanka’s way when Lee Jaebok crossed over for another converted score.
Sri Lanka’s fightback came in the form of Reeza Raffaideen as he broke through the midfield to score under the post (24-14). His try was followed up by Buddhima Piyarathane who broke away on the far corner to score. Sooriybandara missed the angled kick (24-19).
A converted try from Sri Lanka would have put them in the driving seat in the game but Lee Jaebok completed his hat-trick of tries to take victory away from the Tuskers (31-19).
With time running out, it was Sudam Sooriyarachchi who broke away to a converted try but it was too late for the islanders.
Full time score: Sri Lanka 26 (4T 3C) to Korea 31 (5T 3C)
It will be a must win for the Tuskers tomorrow when they face Afghanistan which will decide their qualification to the quarterfinals.
Sri Lanka – Srinath Sooriybandara (1 Try 2 Con), Reeza Raffaideen (1 Try), Buddhima Piyarathane (1 Try), Sudam Sooriyarachchi (1 Try 1 Con)
Korea – Jang Seongmin (2 tries) , Han Kunkyu (2 tries) , Lee Jaebok (1 Try 3 Con)
Sri Lanka vs UAE
The Sri Lanka sevens team playing their first game against the United Arab Emirates at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia, registered a landslide 68-0 win a short while ago.
Senior campaigners Srinath Sooriyabandara and Kavindu Perera stepped up to the occasion in the absence of playmaker Danushka Ranjan in the starting lineup, flooding in tries from every direction of the ground.
Sooriyabandara, playing his third Asian Games tourney drew first blood off an offload from Buddhima Piyarathane. The opening try was followed up by one from captain Sudarshana Muthuthanthri who went under the post, before youngster Buddhima Piyarathane touched down for Sri Lanka’s 3rd.
With seconds left for halftime, Sooriyabandara scored his second and the team’s fourth, running circles around the UAE defense.
Half-time: Sri Lanka 28 – UAE 0
The second half was nothing different to the first with Kavindu Perera going over for a well-deserved hat-trick of tries. The 6-footer with his stupendous pace, was unstoppable and made scoring tries look easy.
Two more tries came from Danush Dayan while the CH & FC halfback Sudam Sooriyarachchi finished things off for Sri Lanka in the first game with a a try of his own to give the Tuskers 10 in total.
The UAE defense was clueless and was unsettled in the entire 14 minutes of play, allowing Sri Lanka to capitalize. The only worry for Sri Lanka coach Peter Woods will be their penalty count.
The participation of Danushka Ranjan is still in doubt with the game against South Korea coming up at 4.28 p.m. (SL time).
Full time score: Sri Lanka 68(28) (10T 8C) – UAE 0(0)
Kavindu Perera (3 tries), Srinath Sooriyabandara (2 tries 2 conversions), Danush Dayan (2 tries), Sudarshana Muthuthanthri (1 try), Sudam Sooriyarachchi (1 try 1 conversion), Buddhima Piyarathane (1 try 1 conversion), Tarinda Ratwatte (5 conversions)