Kandy showcased a completely dominant performance at Nittawela today, where they managed to remain unbeaten throughout this season. They also managed to post their second highest score of the season. Kandy with this win and also with the bonus point got to the top of the points table. Kandy won the game 73 (11T 9C) – 13 (2T 1P) against the Air Force side who had no clue what had hit them. It was Kandy 40(6T 5C) – 03 (1P) Air Force at half time. Kanchana Ramanayake who was dropped after the Air Force game at Ratmalaana returned to the bench and Nigel Rattwatte made his way to the starting fifteen due to an injury suffered by Gayan Weerarathne. Roshan Weerarathne and Shehan “lemma” Pathirana had been rested by Coach Sean Wijesinghe. Dhanushka Ranjan and Kanchana Ramanayake scored two tries each.
Air force drew first blood in the 1st minutes of the game when they received a penalty for a high tackle; this was in the kicking range of Charith Senevirathne which they opted to convert to points which in fact they did. (Kandy 00 – 03 Air Force) Kandy immediately replied with a try from the restart. It was Buwaneka Udangamuwa who scored after receiving the ball off a line out. He barged his way over the try line to the right of the posts. Thilina Wijesinghe bisected the posts when he made the conversion from the right of the posts. (Kandy 07 – 03 Air Force)
Then onwards it was all Kandy, they broke the Air Force line of defense with ease. Dhanushka Ranjan made it look easy at the left corner of the field when he stepped one and fended of the other Air Force defender to touch down. This was his 14th try of the season and the first of the day. Thilina who had been in brilliant form made a difficult kick look easy when he added the extras. (Kandy 14 – 03 Air Force) Richard Dharmapala was then brought into action by Nigel Ratwatte. Richard received a quick pass and he made a clean finish diving into the left corner. It was more a Super Rugby sort of a finish by Richard. Thilina failed to add the extras this time. (Kandy 19 – 03 Air Force)
It was then Gayan Rathnayake’s turn to score and book his name on the score sheet. Kandy broke way through the Air Force defence through Buwaneka Udangamuwa who offloaded it to the oncoming Gayan Rathnayake who stretched to the try line to score. Thilina added the extras with ease this time. (Kandy 26 – 03 Air Force) This try gave Kandy a well deserved bonus point. Gayan Rathnayake was brilliant today with the line outs, he won almost all the line outs in the game.
Dhanushka Ranjan then intercepted a long cut out pass from the Air Force fly half to sprint 60m before scoring under the posts. Thilina made a regulation conversion from under the posts. (Kandy 33 – 03 Air Force) Ranjan was then taken off giving way to Kanchana Ramanayake. Vishwa Mithra Jayasinghe was sent off to the sin bin for a high tackle on an Air Force player soon after. Kanchana who failed to make impact yet in the season went on to show his class scoring just before the brink of half time. He made 40m before scoring. Thilina again made it look easy. (Kandy 40 – 03 Air Force)
Half time – Kandy SC 40 (6T 5C) – 03 (1P) Air Force
After the restart Kandy again made an instant impact. This time it was Thilina Wijesinghe who scored under the posts after a lovely short pass from Fazil Marija. Thilina added the extras of his own try afterwards. (Kandy 47 – 03 Air Force) Then again it was try time for Richard Dharmapala who scored under the posts with ease after an inside pass from Nigel Ratwatte. Thilina converted his last kick of the day. (Kandy 54 – 03 Air Force)
Then there were two quick tries scored back to back by Kandy. Vishva Mithra Jayasinghe and Lasitha Aththanagoda were the try scorers respectively. Vishva ran around the defender while Lasitha picked it from the ruck and went over the line. Both these tries were scored under the posts and both were put through with ease by Arshad Jamaldeen who had come on in the place of Thilina Wijesinghe. (Kandy 68 – 03 Air Force)
Air Force then managed to get a score back through Dinesh Weerarathne. Air Force got a line out ball which they won and set up a rolling maul to score. Isuru Jayarathne failed to convert. (Kandy 68 – 08 Air Force) Kanchana Ramanayake then got his second try of the day in the left corner of the try area after receiving a long pass from his teammate. Jamaldeen failed to convert from the left flank. (Kandy 73 – 08 Air Force)
Air Force then again got their consolation try, it was again Dinesh Weerarathne who picked and dropped on to the try line in the right corner of the field. Jayarathne failed to convert again. (Kandy 73 – 13 Air Force)
Referee Rankothge then blew the long whistle making the game come to an end and giving Kandy a well deserved victory. Kandy have Havelocks at Colombo next week which is going to be most likely the title deciding match of the season.
Full time – Kandy SC 73 (11T 9C) – 13 (2T 1P) Air Force
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Gayan Rathnayake (Kandy SC)
Tries – Dhanushka Ranjan (2T), Kanchana Ramanayake (2T), Richard Dharmapala (2T), Buwaneka Udangamuwa (1T), Gayan Rathnayake (1T), Vishva Mithra Jayasinghe (1T), Lasitha Aththanagoda (1T), Thilina Wijesinghe (1T)
Conversions – Arshad Jamaldeen (2C), Thilina Wijesinghe (7C)
Tries – Dinesh Weerarathne (2T)
Penalty – Charith Senevirathne (1P)