Kandy Sports Club managed to keep their unbeaten tag as they won a tough game against the physical Havelocks outfit 31 points to 21 in their Dialog Rugby League encounter played at Nittawela this evening. At half time Kandy were leading 21 points to 07.
Nigel Ratwatte kick-started the proceedings under hot and humid conditions at a packed Nittawela Stadium. Havelocks showed good confidence as they played more than 10 phases of play from the kick off and had possession of the ball in the opening exchanges but was unable put points on the board.
Kandy on the other hand executed a pre-planned move where Shehan Pathirana offloaded a timely pass to the ‘Bulldozing’ Buwaneka Udangamuwa as he went past the Havelock defense to open the scoring for the Hill capital side and Thilina Wijesinghe added the extras.
Five minutes later Kandy gave the pink shirts a dose of their own medicine as the defending champions scored from a rolling maul. Havies didn’t have any answer for it as Udangamuwa scored his second. (Kandy 14-00 Havies)
Kandy hit back again as their forwards dominated possession gravitating more Havies players towards them and their backs got into the game when a long cutout pass from Ratwatte opened up speedster Anuruddha Wilwara in the corner for the third try. Wijesinghe continued his good form as he added the two points.
Kandy leaked few penalties while Heshan Kalhara was sent to the bin for no arms tackle and Havies got the maximum advantage as Lasindu Karunathilake made valuable meters and offloaded to Sithum Peiris as he went pass the Kandy defenders with ease and to score. Riza Mubarak converted the try with ease. (Kandy 21-07 Havies)
Havies had plenty of opportunities as their forwards made valuable meters but couldn’t convert the opportunities into points and Referee Charlie Brown sin binned both tight-head forwards Ganuka Dissanayake and Dushamantha Priyadarshana for not binding correctly in the scrum. Havies played more than 16 phases of play before the break as Kandy defense kept the park club at bay.
Well know rugby referee Charlie Brown will take the reins in the much awaited clash between the two…
Half Time –Kandy SC 21 (3T,3C) – 07 (1T,1C) Havelock SC
Havelocks were on the back foot straight away after half time when Vimukthi Rahula made a no arms tackle on Richard Dharamapala but Referee Brown erroneously gave away a yellow card to Sithum Peiris. Few minutes later Havies was dealt with another blow when skipper Niroshan Fernando was sent to the naughty chair for a high tackle and Kandy pounced on quickly as Udangamuwa powered himself over the Havelock defense and scored his Hat-trick. Thilina Wijesinghe was right on the money with his kick. (Kandy 28-07 Havies)
Havies finally got their act together as the forwards played patiently with few phases of pick and goes while Dushamantha Priyadarshana managed to find white wash from a yet another pick and drive. Mubarak bisected the upright with ease to reduce the deficit. (Kandy 28-14 Havies)
The Dialog Rugby League has kicked off, and SURPRISE…Kandy SC aren’t their usual selves! They’re not the….
Havies scored again to reduce the deficit when Vimukthi Rahula made a box kick and Centre Dinuk Amarasighe collected the kick and scored to keep the game alive as Kandy defenders were caught napping. Mubarak added the extras to reduce the gap to 7 points.
Kandy felt the pressure from the Pink shirts and so did the Kandy crowd. Havies unfortunately leaked an unwanted penalty and Kandy opted for the three-pointer as Wijesinghe managed to slot in the kick between the sticks to seal the game. (Kandy 31-21 Havies)
Full Time – Kandy SC 31 (4T,4C,1P) – Havelock SC 21 (3T,3C)
- ThePapare.com’s Player of the match – Buwaneka Udangamuwa (Kandy SC)
- Match Referee – Charlie Brown
Kandy SC : Tries from Buwaneka Udangamuwa (3), Anuruddha Wilwara Conversions (4) and penalty by Thilina Wijesinghe
Havelock SC : Tries from Sithum Peiris, Dinuk Amarasighe and Dushamantha Priyadarshana Conversions (3) by Riza Mubarak
Cautions & Send offs
Kandy SC : Heshan Kalhara & Ganuka Dissanayake (Yellow)
Havelock SC : Dushamantha Priyadarshana, Sithum Peiris & Niroshan Fernando (Yellow)