Navy Sports Club bounced back from the defeat suffered at Longden Place last week by producing a strong defensive performance to outmuscle the strong Havelock SC outfit by 25 points to 14, in their Dialog Rugby League fixture worked off at Welisara this evening. Navy collected their points from 3 tries, 2 conversions, 1 penalty and a drop goal, while the losers collected their points from 2 converted tries.
Navy kicked off the proceedings amidst good conditions for a game of rugby but it were the visitors who started the game more brightly, reacting quicker and looking sharp in attack. The early pressure saw the visitors pinning their opposition inside their own half and at times inside their own 22’. Navy suffered an early blow when Supun Dilshan was sent to the sin-bin in the 4th minute for foul play.
Havies who missed out on scoring soon afterwards knocking on the ball right on the try line, kept their foot on the gas and soon succeeded in breaching the Sailor’s defence in the 10th minute through Shenal Deelaka. Fullback, Rizah Mubarak put over the conversion to hand his team an early 7nil lead. That lead however lasted a mere 3 minutes as Navy came back storming into the game through a Musheen Faleel try. A powerful run by skipper Danushka Perera saw Navy bring play into the Havies ‘red’ zone and a couple of phases later center Musheen Faleel crept through the wanting Havelocks defence to score a brilliant try. Thilina Weerasinghe continued from where he left off last week slotting through the extras. (Navy 07 – Havies 07)
The hosts kept piling on the pressure with their forwards setting up good front-foot ball for the backs to run on to. Havelocks just couldn’t cope with the pace and width of Navy’s attack and began to crumble. Navy moved ahead on the scoreboard in the 18th minute through the boot of Thilina Weerasinghe before extending it further in the 25th minute through prop forward, Lahiru Wishwajith who barged over from close range to score beside the posts. Weerasinghe was on target with the easy conversion. (Navy 17 – Havies 07)
Things only got worse for the visitors as they conceded another try in the 33rd minute when Navy’s hardworking second row, Supun Peiris, went over for his 1st try of the season. Thilina Weerasinghe was not successful with the conversion but his team was firmly in control. (Navy 22 – Havies 07) Navy complimented their attacking threat with some fierce tackling in defence that made life hard for their opposition. Desperation seemed to be creeping into the visitors as Sharo Fernando was sent to the coolers for a high tackle 5 minutes before the break putting even more pressure on his team. Weerasinghe had the opportunity of extending his team’s lead right on the stroke of half time but his attempted penalty kick strayed off target and scores remained unchanged.
HALF TIME: NAVY 22 – HAVELOCK SC 07
Despite the scoreboard reading a healthy lead, the hosts knew that they couldn’t afford to let their guard down after their second half debacle last week. Havelock got things underway in the second half and tried their best to up the tempo in attack but poor communication and execution deprived them of making any impact in the game while Navy looked quite happy to slow down the game at every given opportunity. Navy’s skipper Danushka Perera was sent to the sin bin in 55th minute for an infringement during the breakdown but despite the numerical disadvantage it was his team that extended their lead. After missing another penalty earlier in the 50th minute, full back Thilina Weerasinghe fired across a fabulous drop goal from 35 yards out. (Navy 25- – Havies 07).
From then onwards the sailors made sure any attempts of a comeback by their opponents would not be achieved with some superb defensive work while their opponents looked toothless in attack. Havelock did end the game with a late consolation try through Kevin Dixon who sped his way to the try line on the 80th minute. Rizah Mubarak made a trademark corner flag conversion but it was all but a regulation kick as this time his team just didn’t turn up for the occasion.
FULL TIME: Navy SC 25 (3T, 2C, 1P, 1DG) – HAVELOCK SC 14 (2T 2C)
- Referee: Irshad Cader.
- ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Supun Peiris (Navy SC).
Points Breakdown Navy SC
Tries – Musheen Faleel (1), Lahiru Wishwajith (1), Supun Peiris (1)
Conversions – Thilina Weerasinghe (2)
Penalties – Thilina Weerasinghe (1)
Drop Goals – Thilina Weerasinghe (1)
Bookings – Supun Dilshan, Danushka Perera, Dulanjana Wijesinghe
Points Breakdown Havelock SC
Tries by – Shenal Deelaka (1), Kevin Dixon (1)
Conversions – Rizah Mubarak
Bookings – Sharo Fernando