Kandy continued their form from last week to gun down an average performance from the Police SC at Nittawela earlier today. The final score recorded was 34 (5T 3C 1P) – 09 (3P). Kandy led the game at half time by 17 points to 09 points. They currently lie third in the table due to their loss to the Air men on match day 2. They scored 5 tries during the match to receive a well deserved bonus point.
The game started under slippery underfoot conditions when Fazil Marija kicked off. Both teams were trying to settle down early in the game but Kandy had possession for almost all of the first few plays of the match. However it was the Policemen who drew blood first when they were awarded a penalty straight up the field 25m from the posts. Rajitha Sansoni the full back of Police bisected the posts rather easily. The Kandy reply was within seconds after the kick off. Kanchana Ramanayaka collected a high ball inside the try area amidst the other reaching hands to touch down. It was Thilina Wijesighe who chipped it over after receiving a turnover ball from the ruck. Wijesinghe later added the extras too.(07-03)
It was a penalties game after the opening try, where both teams received penalties in a span of 20 mins of the game. Sansoni then got the third attempt at goal right when he got a penalty for coming in from the side by the Kandy forwards. He slotted this with ease. Police at this point was in Kandy territory and was causing problems for the defence. Kandy SC was lucky to have gotten away with only a penalty. (07-06) Thilina Wijesinghe then got a penalty for hands in the ruck 30m away from the posts at an angle which he slotted through without any problems. (10-06)
Fazil Marija then show cased his skills when he side stepped Sandesh Jayawickrama with ease to score left of the posts. The forwards were working their way upwards when he received the ball from Roshan Weerarathne from the ruck. (17-06) Sansoni then received his 5th penalty of the game for hands in the ruck, having missed an easy one earlier he had little problem in converting the difficult one. (17-09)
Police was rather competitive in the first half of the match where they caused some headache for the home side. They were on top at the breakdowns where they capitalised and there were quite few turn over balls as well.
Half time – Kandy SC 17 (2T 2C 1P) – 09 (3P) Police
The second half started with Rajitha Sansoni kicking off the ball which was cleanly collected by the Kandy players who counter attacked the policemen eventually touching down through Roshan Weerathne. Kandy got a penalty right under the posts where Roshan took a quick tap and side stepped the two defenders to score under posts which Thilina Wijesinghe converted with ease. (24-09)
Minutes later Shehan Pathirana touched down at the left corner of the field after receiving a good ball from the maul which was still moving. Buwenaka Udangamuwa passed it onto Roshan Weerathne who was the first receiver who sent it to Shehan Pathirana. Jamaldeen who had come on as a replacement couldn’t convert from the left flank. (29-09)
The next try was a real eye pleaser where Kandy executed a set piece. They received a free kick 20m away under the posts. Roshan Weerathne took a quick tap that he passed to Piyumal Manchanayake who was facing the incoming Richard Dharmapala at pace who received, stepped and finished under the posts with just a blink of an eye.
Jamaldeen couldn’t convert that into points as well today. The game then came to an end with the referee’s long whistle. Thilina Wijesinghe had a brilliant second half as he made some runs into the oppositions 22 from within his 22. His kicking game today was also a highlight. He started in his favoured full back position today.
Roshan Weerathne too was excellent with his ball distributions from the ruck. The business end of the first leg has arrived for Kandy SC since they have finished their matches with the less dominant sides of the tournament. There is more pressure on them this time around due to their slip up in the hands of the Air men at Rathmalana. Kandy will have to be at the top of their game in the upcoming matches in order to win the first leg of the tournament.
Full time – Kandy SC 34 (5T 3C 1P) – 09 (3P) Police
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Thilina Wijesinghe (Kandy SC)
Kandy SC – Kanchana Ramanayaka (1T), Roshan Weerathne (1T), Fasil Marija (1T), Richard Dharmapala (1T), Shehan Pathirana (1T), Thilina Wijesinghe (3C 1P)
Police SC – Rajitha Sansoni (3P)