Sri Lanka managed to secure a scrappy win in their final game on day one against Malaysia 26-05. However the Tuskers will know improvement is the need of the hour if they are to trouble tournament favorites Hong Kong.
Sri Lanka came into the final game of the day following an impressive win over China but everything did not go to plan against a much competitive Malaysia even though the score read 26-05 in favor of Sri Lanka.
Tuskers got off to a dream start as Naveen Henakankanamge scored just 80 seconds into the game, finishing a move he started inside his own half. Try assister Supun Dilshan added the extras from close range. (SL 07-00 MAL)
The good start was carried throughout the first half by the Tuskers as they scored two further tries, first from Sandesh Jayawickrama and later Avishka Lee, who made the Malaysians pay for not having an exit plan.
Supun added the extras of the second try but failed with the first as the Sri Lankan score skyrocketed to 19-nil at the end of the first half.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 19 – 00 Malaysia
Malaysia showed signs of cracking open the Tuskers strong defense in the later part of the first stanza however the defense held firm to keep them at bay.
Tuskers squandered two opportunities to extend their lead early on in the second half. Supun Dilshan was held up in the far corner by some superior defense minutes after they knocked on 2 meters from the try line.
Malaysian player Aiman displayed individual brilliance to score after he stepped and weaved his way through the Tuskers defense from inside his own half, running away as fatigue seemed to set into the Sri Lankan camp.
The try went unconverted from out wide as they showed glimpses of staging a mini comeback.
With Jet-lag setting into both teams, the players seemed to play clumsy rugby, spilling passes and not holding onto possession and even squandering more opportunities to score.
However the Tuskers managed to string three phases together following the hooter and it was Theekshana Dasanayake who found his way to the try line after a scrappy four minutes of play.
He ended under the post as Supun Dilshan converted the try to bring the game and the first day to an end, handing Sri Lanka three win from three at the end of day one.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 26 beat Malaysia 05
Sri Lanka vs China – Match 2
Captain Naveen Henakankanamge scored a treble as a much-improved Tuskers outfit ran- riot against a timid China, 43-07 touching down seven tries.
The Tuskers knew things needed to change if they are to go all the way, and it did indeed as the young Lankan lads completely outplayed China, correcting mistakes made from their previous outing.
The Sri Lankan’s were more clinical with ball in hand, conceded less penalties and add some slick finishing to the equation, meant their opposition had no chance.
It was the captain who touched down first for the Lankans as he looked unstoppable and untouchable in this game. Chamod Fernando added the extras from out wide to convert the first minute try. (SL 07-00 CHN)
Henankankanamge’s second try showed the world how fast he could be out wide, as he put on the afterburners, leaving his opponent for dead. Fernando displayed precision to slot over again from the touch line. (SL 14-00 CHN)
Sri Lanka gifted two penalties from in front, being caught off side and were made to pay as Wang of China scored a converted try – their only points – (SL 14-07 CHN)
Man in form, Lahiru Herath made his stocks rise higher, as he calved open the China defense like a hot knife through butter setting up vice-captain Supun Dilshan for his first and Sri Lanka’s fourth converted try after the hooter. (SL 21-07 CHN)
Half Time: Sri Lanka 21 – China 07
The second half began in similar fashion to the first with Naveen scoring, but this time it was Supun converting. The Sri Lankan skipper showed the world his strength, as he barged through defenders to score. (SL 28-07 CHN)
Sri Lanka added three further tries through Chamodh Fernando, Sandesh Jayawickrama and Ranidu Padmasanka (all unconverted), giving away just a single try throughout the game.
This much improved performance was statement of intent, showing the Asia Rugby fraternity Sri Lanka is no pushover and is well-set to retaining their title.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 43 – China 07
Sri Lanka vs Philippines – Match 1
Sri Lanka began their title defense, beating Philippines in a somewhat shaky fashion notching up 24-00 in the first game of the Asia under 20 Sevens series played at King’s park, Hong Kong.
The Lankans began the first game with butterflies in their tummy as their hands let the them down early on however it did not take too much time for the Tuskers to settle down into proceedings.
After the early jitters both teams found their footing but it was Sri Lanka who opened the scorers as Philiphines were down a man for a tug back on a kick chaser.
A horrible clearance by the Philippine’s swapper paved the way for Avishka Lee to run in for the first try for Sri Lanka. Chamodh Fernando made no mistake with the conversion from the 15 meter line capping off a good beginning. (SL 07-00 Phil)
With a minute to go, Sri Lanka squandered another opportunity to score as the handling errors mounted.
However from the resulting scrum, Lahiru Herath of Navy SC managed to turn over possession and barge his way through as the power packed centre playing the Prop forwards role in the shorter format scored try number two for Sri Lanka. Lee stepped up to take the conversion from the 15 meter line but he strayed off target. (SL 12-00 Phil)
A first half of finding their footing and settling down to the conditions ended as unforced errors, penalties at the breakdown and missed opportunities were highlighted for the Sri Lankans.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 12 beat Philippine 00
The Tuskers began the second half with the intention of getting down to business and getting down they did as Adeesha Weerasinghe leaped highest to collect the kick off.
Even though the Tuskers began in good fashion, it took them three minutes to record a score in the second stanza.
Lahiru Herath it was, running for his second of the game, in what seemed to be a replay of his first try, this time on the opposite end of the field.
He managed to turn over possession of a Philippine scrum and scored in the far corner as Chamodh Fernando failed to add the extras from the 5 meter line. (SL 17-00 Phil)
With time running out in the game, the coaching staff rung the changes, fielding the subs on with fresh legs to further disturb the opposition.
The Sri Lankan defence was a positive out of the game and it was Dinuk Amarasinghe who added the icing on the cake after the hooter.
Another turn over paved the way for the fourth try, as Amarasinghe scored from his first touch. The big lad fended off the final defender and steamed away under the post as Fernando added the extras ending the first game with a shaky win. Sri Lanka will take with them positives such as sublime kick offs and strong defense to the rest of the tournament.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 24 beat Philippine 00