The Junior Tuskers were put the test early morning on day 2 of the Asia Under 20 Sevens Series as they drubbed a strong Chinese Taipei team to top Group A and qualify for the semi finals.
Full time score: Sri Lanka 28 (4T 4C) – Chinese Taipei 14 (2T 2C)
This was the first occasion where the Junior Tuskers were matched against a fighting opposition but with Naveen Henakankanamage & Theekshana Dassanayake scoring two-tries a piece, the unbeaten Lankans were through to the cup semi-finals.
Skipper Naveen drew first blood, out running his counterpart creating a try on the far left and Chamod Fernando added the extras with a distant conversion.
The Taipei team pounced on the loose defences to equalize with a converted try from Che Shang.
However, the Tuskers went into half time with the lead off a 70m try that came from the efforts of Henakankanamage who stepped on the gas pedal getting a quick ball from Theekshana.
Half time: Sri Lanka 14 – Chinese Taipei 7
For the first time in the competition, the Tuskers were trailing soon after lemons when a missed tackle saw Hsin Kuei Lo scoring to equalize.
Henakankanamange continued to startle the opposition, this time drawing three players towards himself and sending the offload out to Theekshana Dassanayake to score under the posts.
The big-made Theekshana continued the momentum to score a second just before full time as Sri Lanka wrapped up their group stage proceedings advancing to the semi-finals.
Credit should also go to Chamod Fernando for his try saving tackle in the last few minutes of play and if not for that, the scope of the game could have taken another twist.
Full time: Sri Lanka 28 – Chinese Taipei 14
Sri Lanka will play Korea in the 1st Semifinal at 11.44 a. m. Sri Lankan time.