Police Sports Club almost ended victorious against the league’s second runner-up Havelock Sports Club after a thrilling encounter at Police Park earlier today. The game ended 24 points all.
Havelock gained early advantage when Rizah Mubarak’s kickoff wasn’t collected cleanly. Despite having the territorial advantage and the possession of the ball early on in the game, the Park Club found themselves in danger after conceding a penalty in the fifth minute, which gave the Cops a breathing opportunity.
Sandesh Jayawickrama kicked the Cops inside the Havelock 22′ allowing his team to counter attack. Three minutes later, after a clean line out and three phases, Wajid Fawmy dove over the line in the right flank drawing first blood in favour of the home team. Sandesh failed to add the extras. (PSC 5-0 HSC)
Surprised by the Cops lead, Havelock was put under pressure right from the restart. The Park boys conceded back to back penalties which Police failed to capitalize on. However, five minutes later, Havelock scored back to back tries which suddenly changed the game’s momentum. Sharo Fernando, the experienced lock, barged his way over the line scoring Havelock’s first try while Sudam Sooriarachi scored the second try three minutes later after foxing the defensive line and sneaking through a gap to go over the line. Rizah failed to add the extras. (PSC 5-10 HSC)
Both teams showed a sense of urgency throughout the first half and as a result of the running game of rugby the teams displayed, knock-on’s and penalties were a frequent part of the game.
However, in the 27th minute, showing great speed and footwork, Sujan Kodithuwakku scored a fabulous wing three-quarter try beating four defenders to touch down under the post. Sandesh added the extras as he put the Cops back in the lead. Police failed to hold onto the lead till half-time, as Sudam Sooriacchi sprinted his way over to the line after collecting a loose ball the try scorer Kodithuwakku threw away, scoring his second try of the match. (Half-time PSC 12-17 HSC)
Second-half action began as both teams continued testing the opposition defensive lines creating a tense atmosphere around Police Park. Seventeen minutes into the game Havelock scored their fourth try in the far corner after Rukmal Fernando, who broke free beating three defenders, crossed the line. Although Havelock was twelve points ahead of the cops, the home team were not ready to give up. Cutting the deficit to just five points, veteran Udara Suriyyaperuma scored a crucial try for Police and Sandesh added the extras. (PSC 19-24 HSC)
As the final minutes of the game approached, Police had the advantage of possession and territory. The Police forwards played the ball close by making hit after hit trying to breach the Havelock defence line. After a tremendous amount of effort, Shanaka Harischandra touched down under the post for the Cops, assuring a victory for his team. Sandesh Jayawickrama lined up to take the all-important match deciding kick and unfortunately missed out as the ball hit the cross bar, ending the game in yet another tie for Police Sports Club.
As the game dramatically ended, both teams burst out with emotion and rage creating an ugly ending to what was by far the most thrilling week of rugby in the Dialog Rugby League 2017/2018.
Full Time : Havelock SC 24 (4T, 2C) – 24 (4T, 2C) Police SC
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Rasith Silva (PSC)
Points Breakdown – Police SC
Tries : Wajid Fawmy, Sujan Kodithuwakku, Udara Sooriyapperuma, Shanaka Harischandra
Conversions : Sandesh Jayawickrama (2)
Points Breakdown – Havelock SC
Tries : Sharo Fernando, Sudam Sooriarachhi (2), Rukmal Fernando
Conversions : Rizah Mubarak(2)