Week 10 of Dialog Rugby League (DRL) will commence from this weekend. Defending champions Kandy will look for the grudge battle after going down to the Sailors in the first round match.
Both the airmen and the cops have significantly improved their playing style. Air Force won 22 – 12 in the first round in their away fixture and it was Charith Senavirathne who inspired with his boot. Having the home advantage will work in their favour too in this fixture. Coach Leonard De Zilva has done a brilliant job with no super stars in this team.
Police on the other hand will play for its pride. Coach Sudath Sampath’s team is struggling with only one win out of eight. This will test the players’ moral as they play as a team.
Police flanker/No 8 Radeesha Senavirathne missed out last week due to one match suspension for a punch in week 8 match. However, his return will boost the visiting cops alongside Mushin Faleel in the center. Charles Praveen who had a brilliant game last week will miss out for an injury.
Captain Gayantha Iddamalgoda and Nuwan Perera will play a key role in this game. Iddamalgoda playing half back also paid diligence for Air Force in the last few games.
One time local Derby game will look like a one horse race as CH&FC is struggling at the bottom of the table. CR must be feeling absolutely guttered, losing even after their brave fight back against Kandy last week. It was a 83 – 13 win in the first round for the Reds and perhaps they might rest a few players in this game. After an unconvincing first round CR&FC is showing signs of improvement. At the moment the 4th place on the points table looks secular for CR&FC.
A 37 – 26 win for the Havies in their first round clash. Kandy fans would be hoping for an Army win. Ronnie Ibrahim’s men in pink did look like a struggling unit last week, but have improved their defensive game quite a lot. The right starting XV will be so threatening for the soldier’s despite their solid defensive work rate this season.
Dulaj Perera the highest points scorer this season has been dotting down the uprights really well, having also made some lovely tries. Sharo Fernando and Sudarshana Muthuthantri have been the two strong pillars for the park club whilst skipper Dushmantha Priyadarshana has marshalled his troops well.
Imanka Ariyapala and Ashan Bandara of Army have to put an epic performance this Sunday. Former captain and the veteran Ashoka Jayalal still looks fit for an 80minutes game. Manoj Silva the soldiers’ captain played his heart out this season and he needs to make the correct decisions.
It was a stellar performance by the Sailors in the first leg beating the defending champions Kandy 37 – 32. Kandy in their own den are a different unit. Navy beat Kandy two years ago in Nittawela when foreigners were a part of the club rugby scene. Kandy has two remaining home fixtures and both of them against the team they lost in the first leg.
The travelling sailors have been magical this season; they only lost one game narrowly to Havelocks. Nevertheless, they look a complete package with forwards and backs sailing as a team. Experienced Sajith Saranga, Danushka Perera, Dulanjana Wijesinghe and Nivanka Prasad will be key among the forwards while Chanaka Chandimal the fly half and Thilina Weerasinghe the full back will do a lot of kicking game.
It will be also interesting to see the brothers colliding as Richie and Richard Dharmapala will play for Navy and Kandy respectively.
Buwenaka Udangamuwa Kandy no8 was in fine form. Suhiru Anthony and Shehan Pathirana’s work rate this season was very impressive. Hooker Damith Dissanayake also made some yards and there will be a crucial battle when he takes his opposite number on Sunday. Highest try scorer Danushka Ranjan who scored a hat-trick will be man to watch and you can’t ask for a better center combination as Gayan Weerarathne joins him. Captain Roshan Weerarathne did have a neck/head injury and hopefully he will lead the team. Thilina Wijesinghe has been monumental this season sealing his spot with the no.15 shirt on and is certainly the one to look out for.