As teams continue to shrug the rust off their backs over the first few weeks of the Dialog Club Rugby League, we take a look at what’s in store over the weekend for week two of the League.
CH & FC vs Army SC at Race Course
Friday (10th November) 3.30pm
Due to bad light interrupting the season’s first game, the authorities have decided to bring the game forward to a 3.30 pm start.
This will be the real test for the lads from Maitland Crescent. Facing a more realistic target in Army SC, CH will be licking their lips with the intention of getting their first win and ending a 14-match losing streak.
CH & FC showed positive signs in their first game, however they will be hoping to change a few things coming into this game. With a potent backline at their disposal, CH will be wanting quick ball, something they were lacking in the first week.
The lads from Maitland Crescent will be without the services of Chathura Dilshan who sustained an injury to his face, which required more than 30 stitches.
The Soldiers on the other hand will be looking to display a finished product after last week’s heart break against Navy. Army were lacking the finishing touches to their efforts as they managed points on just two occasions after visiting the opposition red zone on more than 6 occasions.
Matchups to watch out for will be between the two fullbacks of the teams with young Samuel Maduwantha lining up against experienced Gayan Salinda. Both lads were not up to the mark in the first week and will undoubtedly be looking to up their performance.
This will be a close game but the home team, but for CH this will be a clear opportunity to register their 1st win in 3 seasons.
Havelock SC vs Air Force SC at Havelock Park
Friday (10th November) 6.20pm
Hosts Havelock SC put in a near perfect performance in the first week however, Friday night’s game will not be the biggest test for them at home.
The table toppers put on a complete display, both in attack and defense last weekend. Their forwards dominated from the get go and the backs added the finishing touches. However, with coach Sanath Martis always pushing his team to do more, they will be aiming to better their performance.
|3||CR & FC||1||1||0||0||2||1||3||0||21||9||0||5|
|6||Air Force SC||1||0||0||1||0||0||3||0||9||21||0||0|
|7||CH & FC||1||0||0||1||0||0||2||0||6||23||0||0|
Air Force showed glimpses of promise last weekend at home against CR & FC however they crumbled under pressure in the second half. This time around with Ronnie Ibrahim paying a visit to his old club, he will surely have a trick or two up his sleeve to derail the Havelock’s train.
Beating Havies at home will be a tough task however if Air Force turns up and things go their way, we are in for an exciting encounter at Havelock Park.
Police SC vs Kandy SC at Police Park
Saturday (11th November) 3.30pm
The Cops know the task at hand is massive as they take on defending champions Kandy at home. Police were lackluster, dull and characterless in their defeat to Havies last weekend and will surely have to bring their game to a new level if they are to challenge Kandy.
Kandy on the other hand are coming into this game with a win at their back but their win was not entirely convincing. Police will no doubt face whiplash as Kandy seek to get back to their champion ways.
Soori’s performance in game one was seamless as he fitted in leaving no void of Roshan Weerarathne and the coaching staff of Kandy will be hoping he continues to step up as Weerarathne is sidelined.
Fazil Marija is set to sit out this encounter and will be replaced by Nigel Ratwatte who is just coming back to full fitness following injury.
Kandy are undoubtedly the favorites coming into this game and if Police are to have any chance, their whole team will have to up their performance in their first game at home this season.
CR & FC vs Navy SC at Longdon Place
Saturday (11th November) 3.30pm
The unbeaten run will come to an end for either CR or Navy in the game of the week as CR host Navy.
CR & FC had a shaky first half but an impressive second half saw them comfortably beat Air Force last weekend. Navy’s game was the opposite. Their splendid first half saw them hold onto for their win against Army. Both teams know this will be their first real test; the meeting of two top title contending teams.
The Reds from Longdon Place kept Rehan Silva on the bench throughout the game as Chanaka Chandimal made his debut and Tarinda Ratwatte making the cut in the outside centre role last weekend.
The coach will be tempted to make the switch of moving Tarinda to first-five and bringing Rehan Silva back into contention, even though Chanaka Chandimal has been recruited.
Navy were up to full strength even without the likes of Dinusha Fernando and Suranga Pushpakumara as their youngsters put in a good shift. However, coach Jayathilake might be tempted to bring in some experience for this crunch clash at Longdon Place, as this is built up to be a nail biter.