Sri Lanka Army Inter-Regiment rugby tournament was successfully concluded earlier this evening at the Race Course stadium with the guidance of Lieutenant General Mahesh Senanayake. Sri lanka Army General Service corps(SLAGSC) successfully defended the Army Commander’s trophy by defeating the Sri Lanka Army Signal Corps(SLSC) in the cup final 26 (4T,3C) points to 03 (1P).
Asanka Perera of General Service corps kicked off the game under perfect conditions at the picturesque Race Course stadium with a huge number of Army supporters cheering for both teams. In the initial exchanges of the game both teams had possession equally but few handling errors by the signal corps side gifted possession to the experienced general services corps outfit. General services corps made inroads early with their bulky forwards gaining valuable meters with their powering hits and keeping possession for more than ten phases before their cheeky scrum half Mohamed Rizvi found a gap and went over to score the first points of the game. Upali Wickramasinghe bisected the uprights with his solid kick to get the important extra points. (SLAGSC 07- 00 SLSC)
Signal corps played the territorial game after conceding the early points. They had a few opportunities but some white line fever of a few players denied the team points as ‘holding on’ infringements, lazy passes and handling errors gave possession back to the General Service Corps as they took the maximum out of the mistakes made by the opposition as they played a patient game by building phases, working the ball to corners and some brilliant territorial kicking.
Second try of game was one which we rarely see in Sri Lanka but in the international games these kind of tries are regularly seen. Fly half Asanka Perera of General Service corps kicked cross kick from right corner to left corner when he received the ball from the ruck .Perera saw that there weren’t any defenders in the corner and winger Sudaraka Dikkumbura collected the cross kick in the left corner as he went over for an easy try to increase their lead. Wickramasinghe added the extras from tight angle. (SLAGSC 14- 00 SLSC)
With the pressure back on the Signal Corps they managed to reduce the deficit in the last 5 minutes of the game through a penalty which they received in front of the post as Ashan Bandara added the first points of the game for his team. Bandara had another opportunity on the brink of half to add 3 more points but the kick went astray. (SLAGSC 14- 03 SLSC)
Half time – SLA General Service Corps 14 (2T, 2C) – 03 (1P) SL Signal Corps
Second half was a similar scenario as the first half as General Service Corps dominated possession and Signal Corps made unforced errors which didn’t allow them to add the finishing touches for their attacking moves. Skipper Asoka Jayalal took a quick tap when the penalty was awarded by referee Priya Suranga as the Signal Corps were found offside and Jayalal made his trade mark move by powering himself over three defenders and then Mohamed Rizvi quickly sending the ball wide towards the winger Pradeep Victor to score in the corner to increase their lead. Convertion from Wickramasinghe was unsuccessful this time. (SLAGSC 19 – 03 SLSC)
General Services kept on doing the basics as they patiently gained yards and by doing so they put the icing on the cake as they scored the fourth try through their tall second row player Nalaka Maduranga as he powered himself over the white line increasing their lead. Asanka Perera added the extra points with a perfect kick. (SLAGSC 26 – 03 SLSC)
In the dying stages of the games Signal Corps tried to score a consolation try but the General Services Corps defended their hearts out to keep a clean sheet for them as they successfully retained the Inter-Regiment Army Commander’s trophy for the second time.
Earlier before the final, the Sri Lanka Army chairmen’s team played a friendly game against the Pakistan Army Delegation team. This game was a nail-biting affair and Pakistan Army team won the game in the final move as they scored the only try of the game and won 5 points to nil.
Match Referee- Priya Suranga
ThePapare.com Player of the Match- Mohamed Rizvi (SLA General Service Corps)
The score breakdown
Sri Lanka Army General Service Corps (14) 26
Tries: Mohamed Rizvi, Sudaraka Dikkumbura, Pradeep Victor, Nalaka Maduranga
Conversion: Upali Wickramasinghe (2), Asanka Perera
Sri Lanka Signal Corps (03) 03
Penalty: Ashan Bandara
List of winners of the inter-regiment rugby tournament
Cup – Sri Lanka army General Services corps (played for the commander’s trophy)
Plate- Sri Lanka Artillery regiment
Bowl – Sri Lanka Armored Corps
Shield – Sri Lanka Light Infantry