After their disappointing finish last weekend, it was Kanchana Ramanayake who came back to the spotlight drawing first blood off the efforts of Roshan Weeraratne. Arshad Jamaldeen’s first attempt at the posts wasn’t successful but Kandy had to be content with their early lead. (5-0)
Kandy took the best use of their newly re-strengthened third row in the pack as Buwenaka Udangamuwa touched down for a classic #8 try. Jamaldeen was fortunate the second time around to add the extras. (12-0)
The restart saw Kandy exploiting the gaps the Soldiers created as Richard Dharmapala’s gave enough to time for Thilina Wijesinghe to chip the ball and later it was a foot race for the pacey Dharmapala to the try line. (19-0)
Richard Dharmapala followed up his earlier try with another chase down in the far corner off a Jamaldeen kick as Kandy had themselves the bonus point with the four tries coming their way in a matter of 30 minutes. (24-0)
Just before the call for lemons, it was Shanaka Kumara who got his Army team the first points on board with a 25m penalty.
Half time : Kandy SC 24 (4T 2C) – Army 3 (1P)
Army prepped up their defences in the second half to restrict the Kandy’s runners from crossing the white line but an infringement by the Soldiers saw Kandy getting the first points on board in the second half off a Jamaldeen penalty. (24-3)
Army’s struggle in the defences bore fruit at the end, after over ten phases in their attacking 22. Having received three penalties in their favour, they saw Chameera Silva breaking the line of defence to finally seep through under the posts for a well-earned try. Gayan Salinda added the extras as the hosts climbed to double figures. (10-24)
Kandy took the time to settle in the second half managing to kick another penalty off the boot of Arshad Jamaldeen and with the inclusion of Fazil Marija in the line, Kandy went over for another try in the 73rd minute.
A clean execution on a set piece saw Fazil Marija nipping the ball to Arshad Jamaldeen who ran in sideways to score the fifth try. Thilina Wijesinghe converted. (34-10)
There wasn’t too much that Army could execute with the Kandy line up, but their defensive strategy in the second half was impressive restricting the defending champions to just one try.
The return of Shehan Pathirane and Buweneka Udangamuwa did the trick for Kandy with Udangamuwa being the highlight of the evening with his running lines teaming well with Jamaldeen and Thilina Wijesinghe.
Kandy will be happy to take the five points along with the bonus points after their disappointing loss last week.
ThePapare’s Player of the match: Buweneka Udangamuwa (Kandy SC)
Kandy Sports Club 34 (5T 3C 1P)
Tries – Kanchana Ramanayake, Richard Dharmapala (2), Buweneka Udangamuwa, Arshad Jamaldeen
Conversions (2) – Arshad Jamaldeen & Thilina Wijesinghe
Penalty – Arshad Jamaldeen
Army Sports Club 10 (1T 1C 1P)
Try – Chameera Silva
Conversion – Gayan Salinda
Penalty – Shanaka Kumara