Gayantha Iddamalgoda of Air Force kicked the game off amidst a steady drizzle at Police Park.
Just as the two previous games played at the venue, hosts Police conceded first points as indiscipline at the breakdown was penalized by the refs. Charith Seneviratne successfully took the shot at goal from 40 meters out. (Police 00-03 Air Force)
The game was a stop start affair as the weather conditions started to deteriorate swiftly.
Two more penalties slotted through by the Air Force Centre meant that the visitors went into the break with a 9 point lead and left Police SC with all the chasing to do in the second half. Incidentally this was the second consecutive game where Police failed to register points in the first half.
Half Time : Police 00-09 Air Force
The second half began as Police came out following a humbling by the coach. The harsh word gave dividends as the Cops notched up the first try in the second half. After working their way into the Air Force 22, repeated infringements by the Airmen meant that the referee was compelled to blow under the post for a penalty try. Rajitha Sansoni converted to make it a 2 point ball game. (Police 07-09 Air Force)
The spark that was ignited by the coach’s words soon fizzled out as a silly late tackle by the Winger saw him been sin binned and a penalty awarded to Air Force from where the ball landed inside the Police 22. The line out from the touch finder was great in the wet conditions and after a few phases left and right, lanky Second Row forward Thilina Bandara went over untouched in the near corner to take the game further away from the hosts. Seneviratne maintained his 100% record as he successfully converted to take the game beyond the 7 point margin in favour of Air Force. (Police 07-16 Air Force)
The intensity of the game went up a notch as Police was chasing the game with all to play for in the final quarter as the weather continued to make the headlines in the game.
Air Force Outside Centre Krishan Soorya was sent to the bin for a high tackle even though it did not look malicious.
Numbers on the field did not slow the Air Force attack down as continuous waves of attack saw the visitors win a penalty at the breakdown, this time for an illegal hand by a Cop. Seneviratne stepped up and slotted home the kick with ease from in front of the posts as the game seemed to be all but sealed in favor of Air Force. (Police 07-19 Air Force)
Air Force did not let the hosts off the hook as they tightened the screws on the Cops who folded under the pressure as their discipline crumbled and yielded another penalty in kicking range. The Captain of Air Force did not hesitate to point to goal as they grabbed three more points and sealed the game in favor of the visitors. (Police 07-22 Air Force)
Police attacked their hearts out with nothing to lose, wave after wave of attacks in the dying embers of the game proved too much for the Airmen as their defence gave way and Captain Udara Suriyapperuma dived over the white wash in stormy conditions similar to nightfall. Rajitha Sansoni failed to convert as the game ended and handed Police their third loss of the 2016/ 17 campaign.
Full Time: Police 12 (2T, 1C) lose to Air Force 22 (1T, 1C, 5P)
ThePapare.com Player of the Match – Charith Seneviratne (Air Force Centre)
Coach Leonard De Zilva expressed his views following the match to ThePapare.com, saying, “With the given conditions, we adapted to it very well. We played the ball very tight closer to our forwards without running the ball wide and used the opportunity by converting all the kicks. I think being in control of the ball was the key’’
When asked about the plan for the match, he mentioned “a game plan is given but it depends on what is in front of you so I think given the conditions, we played it tighter and we used the territory with the kicks when we saw the forwards and the three quarters were playing up front. So we used the ground on the other side’’
Finally when inquired about what needs to be addressed going forward De Zilva mentioned “we need to improve our finish, that’s very important. In today’s game also we gave away a try in the latter part of the game so we need to work on our defense harder and our support play”
Score Break down;
Police SC 12 (2 Tries, 1 Conversion)
Rajitha Sansoni 1 conversion
Air Force SC 22 (1 Try, 1 Conversion, 5 Penalties)
Charith Senevirathne – 1 conversion and 5 penalties.