CR & FC managed to secure a nail-biting victory against a spirited Navy SC outfit in their last game of the first round of the 2019/20 Dialog Rugby League. After leading 17 points to 10 at half time, CR went on to clinch the game 27 – 24 at full time in Longdon Place.
Murshid Zubair kick started the proceeding under hot and humid conditions, which suited both teams as CR managed to open the scoring in the second minute through the boot of Riza Rafaideen when he bisected uprights with ease. A few minutes later, Navy equalized the game as the playmaker Isuru Kongahawaththa slotted in a 40-meter penalty. (CR 03 – 03 NAVY)
Both teams missed out on quite a few opportunities, as more handling errors and penalties slowed down the game. Navy finally managed to cross white after a few phases of play from the forwards, as the big bulky prop Charith Silva dived over from two meters out while Kongahawaththa slotted in conversion to add the extras. (CR 03 – 10 NAVY)
The dull game made a drastic turnaround after the Navy try due to CR finally getting their act together, as the forward piled on pressure. A superlative set piece move was executed by Kalindu Nandila as he made timely inside pass to the stand-in skipper Riza Rafaideen, who cantered across the whitewash, managing to convert his try to bring the game to a deadlock. (CR 10 – 10 NAVY)
CR played some attacking rugby in the dying stages of the first half, as the forwards dished out some powerful runs and Gayan Dilshan overpowered himself over the line to finish a cracking passage of play for the red shirts. Skipper Rafaideen made no mistake from the tee to make it a 7-point game.
Half Time – CR & FC 17 (2T,2C,1P) – NAVY SC 10 (1T,1C,1P)
CR continued their momentum as they got off the mark in the second essay in a sensational fashion through a try from power-packed Centre Janidu Dilshan. He pierced the fragile visiting defense to score under the post. Rafaideen resumed usual proceedings with the boot, adding the extras to increase the lead further. (CR 24 – 10 NAVY)
Navy crawled back to game as the CR defense was caught napping from a set piece move, with Thanuja Malimbada finding ample shape to run through and score an important try under the post to keep the game while Kongahawaththa slotted in the conversion. (CR 24 – 17 NAVY)
Navy gave away unwanted penalty straight after scoring the try, as Riza Rafaideen opted for post as he kept his 100% kicking success in tact with another long range penalty. The Red shirts were hindered with self-inflicted disciplinary errors in a critical time as Sharo Fernando saw yellow for a shoulder charge. (CR 27 – 17 NAVY)
Navy immediately took advantage of their numerical superiority when Gihan Perera powered over after patient build-up, with Kongahawaththa converting to take this game to an existing finish. (CR 27 – 24 NAVY)
Navy was given a lifeline when CR scored through Murshid Zubair, but a shoulder charge in the build up to try from Gayan Dilshan cost CR a try as it was disallowed. Gayan Dilshan was sent to bin as CR had to finish the game with fourteen, but Navy couldn’t convert the scoring opportunity and they lost Chathura Senevirathne for shoulder charge in the dying embers of the game, as CR held their nerve to finish the first round with a win.
Full Time – CR & FC 27 (3T,3C,2P) – NAVY SC 24 (3T,3C,1P)
- Dialog Viu Player of the Match – Riza Rafaideen (CR & FC)
- Match Referee – Dilum Deeshana
CR & FC: Tries from Riza Rafaideen, Gayan Dilshan, Janidu Dilshan, conversion (3) and penalties (2) by Riza Rafaideen
NAVY SC: Tries from Charith Silva, Thanuja Malimbada, Gihan Perera, conversion (3) and penalty by Isuru Kongahawaththa
Cautions & Send offs:
CR & FC: Sharo Fernando, Gayan Dilshan (Yellow)
NAVY SC: Chathura Senevirathne (Yellow)