CR & FC took on Navy SC at Longdon Place this evening in the 12th week of the Dialog Rugby League. CR coming after a big win against Army last week, managed to marginally win against the spirited Sailors after trailing 13 – 17 at half time. The scores read 23 – 20 in favour of the home team at full time.
Last season’s top points scorer, Thilina Weerasinghe, kick started the game from left to right, with the wind against him. However, early disciplinary issues by his side allowed former Peterite, Stephen Sivaraj, to draw first blood for CR with a three-pointer, two minutes into play. After a scrappy ten minutes, Navy slowly but surely found their rhythm – dominating a scrum in CR territory. Gihan Perera managed to crash through the home team’s defence and score the game’s first try. Weerasinghe managed to add the extra two and another three points immediately after the restart. As Reeza Rafaideen found himself injured in the 15th min, star fly half, Tarinda Ratwatte, made his way onto the park as the inside centre.
Omalka Gunaratne scored CR’s first try after barging forward from the back of a ruck, Sivaraj missed a crucial conversion as the home team still trailed. Navy immediately showed a sense of urgency – and fortunately for them, momentum swung their way as Ravin De Silva went over the line scoring their second try after winning a line out and playing it close. Weerasinghe added the extras. As halftime approached, the Reds were in desperate need for points, but their ball handling, sadly, let them down. Putting CR back in the game, Shehan Dias managed to go over the white line at the brink of half-time, after almost eight phases of excellent play. Ratwatte failed to convert for the extra points.
Half Time: CR trailed 13 – 17 NSC
The second-half was a rather scrappy display of rugby by both teams, especially by CR who dropped ball after ball. As a result, Navy were gifted many opportunities, but they failed to capitalize. However, after making some crucial changes in the line and pack, CR made a late surge. In the 52nd minute, replacement scrumhalf Harith Bandara scored a well-executed try, putting CR in the lead. But, Navy was not far behind – Wijesinghe slotted in a three pointer that made it all even-stevens with 10 minutes of play remaining.
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CR was taking desperate measures hoping to force the visitors to commit an error, and all the hard work paid off in the final minute when Navy conceded a penalty in front of the uprights, but 40m away. Rising to the occasion, Ratwatte made no mistake in bisecting the posts and saving CR from a near draw.
Full Time: CR won 23 (3T 1C 2P) – 20 NSC (2T 3C 2P)
- Player of the Match – Joel Perera (CR)
Score Breakdown CR
Tries: Omalka Gunaratne, Shehan Dias, Harith Bandara
Conversions: Tarinda Ratwatte 1
Penalties: Stephen Sivaraj 1, Tarinda Ratwatte 1
Score Breakdown NSC
Tries: Gihan Perera, Ravin De Silva
Conversions: Thilina Weerasinghe 2
Penalties: Thilina Weerasinghe 2