Sailors’ wall of defense keeps Airmen down

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Navy managed to cruise to victory as they defeated Air Force by 10 points to nil, at the Welisara Navy Grounds earlier today.

After a hard-fought victory last weekend, Navy came into this week as favorites yet again, with the hopes of maintaining dominance in their own den.  

The game started off in wet conditions as rain kept pouring down throughout the eighty minutes, making it difficult for both teams to hold on to possession. Early knock-ons and drop balls by both teams, stopped the continuity of the game which prevented both teams from scoring until the 35th minute. Though penalties leaked from both sides in the first quarter of the game, it was only five minutes before halftime that Navy drew first blood as Dulanjana Wijesinghe carried the ball over the line to score Navy SC’s first try. Thilina Weerasinghe added the extra two points, putting the Sailors at a 07 point lead before lemons.  (07 – 00)

Air Force had the opportunity to score before halftime when Navy conceded back-to-back penalties inside their own 22-meter line. Both penalties were in kickable range, but the Airmen did not want to settle with the three pointers. They opted to go for touch and a scrum where they lost possession on both occasions, after losing the line-out and knocking the ball forward in the scrum. Hence, the Airmen had to go into halftime scoreless. (HT: 07-00)

The second half action began as both teams kicked and chased in the first five minutes after the restart, until the game was stopped in the 45th minute due to an injury. Mushin Faleel of Navy SC was taken off after taking a blow to his leg which kept him out for the rest of the game. Air Force fluffed another scoring opportunity when Gayantha Iddamalgoda failed to find touch after winning a penalty where most would have opted to kick at goal. A repeat of the first quarter of the game was seen as both teams leaked penalties and dropped the ball repeatedly.

In the 65th minute Navy went down to fourteen players when winger Dinusha Chathuranga was sent off to the sin bin after a block tackle attempt. Still, not capitalizing on their opportunities the Airmen continued to make the wrong decisions which cost them the game. Thilina Weerasinghe missed an easy penalty in the 72nd minute, but three minutes later he extended the Sailors’ lead by 10 points after a successful penalty.

The wounded Airmen had one last opportunity to save themselves from humiliation, but an unfortunate knock-on by the Air Force forward after taking a quick tap, sealed the game and saw the Sailors dance their way off the field with yet another victory.

Full time: Navy SC 10 (1T, 1C, 1P) – Air force SC 00

ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Adeesha Weerathunga

Points breakdown – Navy

Tries: Dulanjana Wijesinghe(1)
Conversion & Penalty: Thilina Wijesinghe 

Bookings: Dinusha Chathuranga