Navy Sports Club managed to wind up their Dialog Rugby league campaign for 2018/19 season by notching up an easy victory over Air Force Sports Club, 41 points to 21 in a stop – start game played at Welisara, earlier today.
Two bottom placed teams locked horns for one final time in the league to salvage some pride as they concluded a disastrous season. For Navy, a win would earn them a very slim chance of finishing 6th depending on the result of the Army vs Police game tomorrow.
Thilina Weerasinghe kicked started this encounter with Navy dominating the early exchanges; Navy managed to open the scoring in the 4th minute when Raveen De Silva was successful with a whitewash through a pick drive. Thilina Weerasinghe added the extra points with an easy conversion. (Navy 07- 00 Air Force)
The Airmen continued to struggle in the first half as they leaked penalties regularly in the breakdown. Chathura Senevirathne obliged, to slot in a three-pointer to increase the lead for the sailors. (Navy 10- 00 Air Force)
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Air Force had a few opportunities to score but couldn’t convert them to points. Navy on the other hand, punished the Airmen by playing basic rugby, spreading the ball to wider channels as speedster Buddima Piyarathne managed to find space in the Air force defense purely through his speed and went over the line to score. Weerasinghe couldn’t add the extras as his kick lacked direction. (Navy 15- 00 Air Force)
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Buddima Piyarathne continued to be threatening for the Airmen as he made another dazzling run to gain valuable yards while half back Richie Dharamapala managed to spread the ball to Chathura Senevirathne, who overpowered the Air force defenders to score the third try for the sailors (Navy 20- 00 Air Force)
Few phases later, Skipper Thilina Weerasinghe collected the loose ball near the 40-meter line and destroyed the Air force defense into pieces, purely through his individual brilliance, and went on to score the bonus point try just before the half time break.
Half Time – NAVY SC 27 (4T,2C,1P) – AIR FORCE SC 00
Returning to the field, the Airmen finally found their footing, scoring first in the second half, when their backs finally getting act together. A timely offload by Saraka Werella opened up space for Soorya Krishan to score under the post. Charith Senevirathne slotted in the conversion to add the extra points (Navy 27- 07 Air Force)
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Navy managed to strike once again as try scorer Raveen De Silva collected a loose ball and went on to score under the post to increase their lead as Steven Sansoni successfully bisected the uprights with his conversion. (Navy 34- 07 Air Force)
Air Force managed to score a soft try in the 63rd minute when Kushal Manuppriya collected a loose ball and made a dash to the line, cutting the deficit, while Nuwan Perera quickly added the extras from a drop kick. (Navy 34- 14 Air Force)
Airmen used their forwards through a rolling maul and changed the attacking formation when Ishara Madushan spotted an opening in the corner and opened space for Nuwan Perera. While Perera made it closer to the whitewash, a perfectly executed pop and a cheeky run from Kushal Manuppriya, sent him over the line to keep the game alive. Nuwan Perera continued his good form with his boot as he slotted in the kick. (Navy 34- 21 Air Force)
Referee Brown stamped his authority when Gihan Perera continuously made infringements in the breakdown, eventually handed the yellow. Meanwhile, Gayantha Iddamalgoda retaliated to the infringement made by Perera by stamping on Perera and the senior Air Force player saw Red.
Few phases later, Ramzan Amith made a shoulder charge and he was sent to the bin; Suddenly the Airmen went down to thirteen players while Saliya Hadapangoda took a quick tap near the 5-meter line and went past three defenders to score the 6th try for the Sailors in the final move of the game and ended the Dialog Rugby league on a high note.
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Full Time – NAVY SC 41 (6T,4C,2P) – AIR FORCE SC 21 (3T,3C)
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match – Raveen De Silva (Navy Sports club)
Match Referee – Charlie Brown
Navy SC: Tries from Raveen De Silva (2), Buddima Piyarathne, Thilina Weerasinghe, Chathura Senevirathne, Saliya Hadapangoda Conversions by Thilina Weerasinghe, Chathura Senevirathne, Steven Sansoni (2) and penalty by Chathura Senevirathne
Air Force SC: Tries from Soorya Krishan, Kushal Manuppriya (2) and conversions by Charith Senevirathne, Nuwan Perera (2)
Cautions & Send offs:
Navy SC: Gihan Perera (Yellow)
Air Force SC: Ramzan Amith(Yellow), Gayantha Iddamalgoda (Red)