The final game of the season proved to be a humdinger as Kandy Sports Club was given a bit of a scare by the visiting Havelocks side in the Dialog Rugby league played this evening. The retiring Fazil Marija scripted himself a perfect ending taking all the honours in front of a doting home crowd.
In the end Kandy won the game 30 points (4T 2C 2P) – 28 (4T 4C) points. The champions, Kandy came into the match without the big guns Anurudda Wilwara, Buwaneka Udangamuwa and Jason Dissanayake which weakened the Kandy forwards more than the backs. Havelocks on the other hand were surely looking to win that second position in the league. However,the home team displayed customary dominance in the first half leading 22-00 at the break.
Gayan Weerarathna was the first player on the score sheet as he received a lovely pop-up pass from Richard Dharmapala after he had broken through. Nigel Ratwatte failed to convert from the left corner. (Kandy 5-0 Havelocks)
Leaving one wondering yet again if the stalwart was retiring too prematurely, Marija’s exhibited brilliant exploitation of a gap, when he was the first receiver from behind the scrum and he was over the try line in a flash. Ratwatte slotted through the easiest of kicks. (Kandy 12-00 Havelocks)
Ratwatte then got the opportunity to extend the lead by another 3 points from a penalty for coming in from the side. (Kandy 15-00 Havelocks)
The Golden boy of Sri Lanka rugby Marija was at it again, as he revealed his intense rugby sense; the ball came out from the back of the scrum and he was the second receiver this time, he collected and then chipped over the defense before collecting yet again and dropping over the white wash leaving spectators mesmerized. (Kandy 22-00 Havelocks)
Half time: Kandy SC 22 (3T 2C 1P) – 00 Havelock SC
Just after the half time break, Nigel put through another 3 points for an penalty received for ‘hands in the ruck’. (Kandy 25-00 Havelocks)
Havies then scored that much needed first try in the 50th minute after Reeza Mubarak stepped through defenders creating momentum for the try. Sudam Sooriyaaracchi eventually finished the move, brilliantly diving over the try line in the right flank after receiving an inside ball from Dabare. Reeza had no problem in converting. (Kandy 25-07 Havelocks)
Liston Flatny made it two tries in 10 minutes for the Havelocks as they ‘picked and dropped’ inching ever so close each time and then finally reaching the try line. Reeza put through a difficult kick yet again. (Kandy 25-14 Havelock)
Lasindu Ishan scored the third consecutive try in the second half for the Havies to come ever so close. Similar to the previous occasion,some lovely pick and drops and over the try line. It was an excruciating 4-point game at that moment. (Kandy 25-21 Havelocks)
Marija then scored his third try to complete his hat-trick for the day in his last game of the Dialog Club rugby league. A lucky break for Ratwatte saw him handing the home-town hero the ball for a 50m sprint to the line putting spate to any Havelocks hopes. (Kandy 30-21 Havelocks)
But the Havies were not done as they finished the game in style scoring the final try bringing the game to an end through Lasindu Ishan, yet again displaying the signature ‘pick and drops’ through their lethal forwards. Reeza bisected the posts to precision as the game ended in favor of Kandy Sports Club, the champions for 2017/18. (Kandy 30-28 Havelocks)
Full Time: Kandy SC 30 (4T 2C 2P) – 28 (4T 4C) Havelock SC
The Dialog Club Rugby League thus ended with Kandy winning the Championship and Thilina Weerasinghe rewarded with both the highest points scorer and highest try scorer awards. Supun Warnakulasuirya was awarded ThePapare.com’s Most Popular player at the closing ceremony after a poll that was run on www.thepapare.com throughout the league.
Fasil Marija (3T)
Gayan Weerarathne (1T)
Nigel Ratwatte (2C 2P)
Yellow Card – Ganuka Dissanayaka (Kandy SC)
Liston Flatny (1T)
Sudam Sooriyaarachchi (1T)
Lasindu Ishan (2T)
Reeza Mubarak (4C)