Can CH dethrone Kandy on their own paddock?

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CH & FC make the long journey up to the Hill Capital to take on Kandy Sports Club as 2nd and 3rd on the League table meet in the second game of the Super Round of the Dialog Rugby League.

Kandy Sports Club will know any slip-ups at this crucial stage could cost them the defense of their title.  

Most Recent encounter

Kandy tasted defeat for the third time this season, something unusual for the players and the Kandy faithful. The visitors led at the interval down at the park, however, another performance which saw them fall away before the 80th minute helped Havelocks notch up the win and the Minor Premiership.

Read More : Havies pip Kandy to top spot

CH were once again put to the test against Army – the only side CH had not defeated – in the league. Army huffed and puffed but were blown away, succumbing to a 2-point defeat, consolidating 3rd spot for CH & FC.

Read More :  A scrappy win for CH&FC

Last time they met

Kandy made light work of CH & FC at Nittawela the first time these two teams met. The home side did not break a sweat as they lead at half time, and went on to register a bonus point 38-22 win, adding to CH’s woes.

First meeting of the season

In contrast, at the Course, Kandy were blown away, kicking the league wide open. The visitors could never live up to CH & FC and trailing at the break –16-07 – went on to taste only their second defeat of the season.

The visitors looked tired, down and out, ending the game 33-17, giving Havelocks a sniff at their title. This started a mini collapse for Kandy, leaving them with just 1 win from their last 3 encounters.

Second meeting of the season

What can we expect

The Kandy outfit seems to be running out of steam. First, we saw it down at Racecourse. The same thing happened at Longdon place but they managed to hold on for a narrow win. Things repeated itself at the Park, leaving them reeling in search of answers.

Will we see it again? No is what you would think. And playing at home will no doubt spur Kandy on as they seek to get back to winning ways.

The home forwards will need to put their hands up, softening the CH defense, before unleashing their backs – who have not stepped up this time around – and will aim to run a heavy CH outfit rugged.

For CH & FC, they will not get a better opportunity to beat Kandy in their own den. Battered and bruised Kandy will surely be smarting but if the CH defense holds firm – striking back with vigor – they will be in with more than a shout to get the ‘W’ to make in 10-in-a-row.

Read More : How does the Super Round actually work?

Key Match-ups

Again, it will be the electric Sudam against the experienced Roshan. Sooriarchchi has been the heartbeat of CH and has guided them throughout the season. In stark contrast, Weerarathne hasn’t been up to his best. The younger of two the Weerarathne brothers will surely be aiming to bounce back and is there a better stage to do it rather than in front of your own fans?

Adam Gauder’s inclusion into the CH backline brought a more solid look to it, both in attack and defense. The man has been a wall in defense and decisive in attack. He’ll be up against a misfiring Kandy Captain, Richard Dharmapala. You’d be a brave man to bet against the latter getting back into the form he’s known for, but if there was ever a time, it is now.

Will CR & FC be third time lucky?

Team news

Kandy have dearly missed the services of Buwaneka Udangamuwa who has been nursing a groin injury. His power packed game along with the leadership has been something that the defending champions have missed and it is highly unlikely we would see him back for this encounter as well.

Injuries have not helped Kandy in their bid to retain the title with Srinath Sooriyabandara another name missing from the team sheet.

CH have faced their own share of injury trouble with the pivotal Anuradha Herath missing out due to a calf niggle, however, the former Peterite winger could return following two weeks on the sideline.

Predictions

Kandy’s downfall began at Racecourse at the hands of CH & FC. Their last few performances have been far from convincing and returning back home could not have come at a better time. This is a tough one to call but I will go with CH making it 10 wins in a row. 

CH & FC to win by 2-7 points.