CR & FC managed to get through a tough challenge thrown by the Cops after a thrilling encounter at Police Park earlier today. The game ended 33 points to 31 in favour of CR.
Tarinda Ratwatte kick-started the game amidst windy conditions, and three minutes later the boys in red drew first blood after Skipper Kavindu Perera went on to score an untouched try in the left corner. Ratwatte failed to add the extras. The Cops were put under immense pressure right from the start as the Park boys kept coming at them. They were rewarded in the 15th minute when prop forward Gayan Jayasekara scored under the post extending CR’s lead by seven more points. Taking off a bit of the pressure for the Cops, Sandesh Jayawickrama successfully converted a penalty to points in the 20th minute. (12-03)
The Cops failed to hold onto possession of the ball, allowing CR to take the upper hand. The scattered defensive line of Police SC cost them again in the 23rd minute, when Omalka Gunarathna bumped off two tacklers to go over the line. Ratwatte made no mistake in adding the extra two which put the Park boys up by 16. The Cops counter-attacked and found themselves inside the CR redzone for the first time in the 30th minute, and after two phases of play they were awarded a penalty try after Reza Rafaideen was sent off to the bin for a high tackle. (19-10)
Unforced errors and penalties leaked by both teams as they showed a sense of urgency at the latter part of the first half. Showing great strength, Omalka Gunarathna went over the line for the second time at the stroke of half time. Ratwatte bisected the posts giiving his team a healthy lead at lemons.
Half Time : CR & FC 26 – 10 Police SC
The second half action began and the Cops seemed to be a whole different team. Their mauls were barging forward and scrums were steady and strong. The first ten minutes of the second half was dominated by the Cops which eventually saw Iroshan Silva over the line after a well-executed ploy off a scrum in the 53rd minute. Sandesh Jayawickrama successfully added the extra two points, narrowing the CR lead. (26-17)
CR showed signs of over-confidence which the Cops took advantage of. Continuing to dominate the next ten minutes of the second half, the Cops kept moving forward inch by inch, creating great momentum. In the 65th minute, Police number eight Wajid Fawmy made a fantastic break and ended up over the line after the forwards played it close. Sandesh was spot on with his kicks as he added the extra two. (26-24)
A tensed atmosphere at Police Park arose as the spectators began to feel the intensity of the game. At the dying minutes CR conceded three penalties, but unfortunately the Cops failed to convert them to points. CR on the other hand, won two penalties at kickable ranges, but surprisingly the park boys opted to run it on both occasions. Although they fluffed the first penalty, they managed to see Reza Rafaideen score in the far corner the second time around. Ratwatte successfully added the extra two. (33-24)
The clock kept ticking with only seconds remaining, as Police managed to once again find themselves inside the CR redzone. The Police forwards crashed onto the CR defensive line, pushing them back and sucking more defenders in, which created space for the backs and saw Sandesh Jayawickrama score a fabulous try after running the perfect angle, slicing through the CR defenders. Unfortunately for Police SC, the final whistle was blown right after Sandesh successfully converted his own try.
Full Time : CR & FC 33 (5T, 4C) – 31 (4T, 4C,1P) Police SC
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Sandesh Jayawickrama
Points Breakdown – CR & FC
Tries : Omalka Gunarathana (2), Gayan Jayasekara, Reza Rafaideen, Kavindu Perera
Conversions : Tharinda Ratwatte (4)
Bookings : Reza Rafaideen
Points Breakdown – Police SC
Tries : Wajid Fawmy, Iroshan Silva, Sandesh Jayawickrama, 1 Penalty Try
Conversions : Sandesh Jayawickrama (4)
Penalties : Sandesh Jayawickrama (1)