Penultimate Weekend of the Dialog Rugby League – Preview Week 13

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Penultimate Weekend of the Dialog Rugby League – Preview Week 13

Kandy will travel to Welisara expecting a cake-walk as the Navy has suspended a few players due to the ‘YOO7’ arm band. Havelock’s will have a mammoth task to beat the CR&FC whilst Police hosts the Airmen.  Army will try to finish the season on high with the bottom of the table CH&FC.

Police v Air Force                  19.02.2016 (Friday)               KO: 4.30pm               @Police Park

It was disappointing for the Cops last week as Havelock’s scored a last gasp try to beat them 27-24. After so many issues in the Police camp, they finallymanaged to produce some good rugby. Mushin Faleel has been outstanding in the center field while Radeesha Senavirathna is having the season of his life as a No8. Air Force full back Nuwan Perera scored two tries in the last outing and will be the key figure for the visitors. He was among the highest points scorers but sadly he lost out missing a few matches due to an injury. Police won the first round game 24 – 07.

Ones to watch : Rizah Mubarak (Police / Full Back) – Gayantha Iddamalgoda (Air Force / Half Back-Fly)

Score Predictions : Police win by 7

Navy v Kandy                                   20.02.2016 (Saturday)                       KO: 4.30pm               @Welisara

Kandy certainly would not have enjoyed their last two encounters which went down to the wire. Navy too had a close encounter against Army last week with only a 2 point win. However, Kandy  will feel comfortable as Navy will be missing four key players due to suspension. It is said that Omalka Gunarathne, Suranga Pushpakumara, Dulanjana Wijesinghe and the captain Dhanushka Perera will miss out having broken an internal code of conduct.

Nevertheless, Coach Nilfer Ibrahim will air-out his young players which will give them valuable experience against the top grade side like Kandy. Kishore Jehan, Damith Dissanayake, Piyumal Manchanayake the front rowers are in tremendous form for the hill capital team. Nigel Ratwatte and Vishvamithra Jayasinghe have been the match winners in the recent games.

Navy prop Stephan Greogory who left school last year will perhaps start this game and it is a priceless chance for him to show the selectors how good he is for the Tuskers. Lee Keegal and Dinusha Chaturanga will have a big responsibility along with Sajith Saranga to keep the Sailors ship moving this weekend.

Let’s not forget the highest points scorer at the moment is Navy full back Thilina Weerasinghe who scored a hat-trick last week, if he could get some early points that will throw-open the game more than expected. 29 – 10 was the first round score in favour of Kandy.

Ones to watch : Nivanka Prasad (Navy/No8) – Buwenaka Udangamuwa (Kandy / No8)

Score Prediction : Kandy win by 10+ 

Havelock’s v CR&FC                       20.02.2016 (Saturday)                      KO: 6.30pm         @Havelock Park

It was a 34 – 18 win for the men in Pink in the first round at the Longdon Place. Ever since then both teams have not played convincing rugby with so many unforced and cardinal errors. CR could have won easily last week especially with 80% possession and territory. They should have turned it in to points just like Kandy did with a 20% possession.

But first let’s hope that there won’t be any power failure in this game at Havelock Park. When Havies hosted Navy a fortnight ago the power failure for 30 minutes took off the intensity of the game.

Kavindu Perera showed what he has got to offer as a winger and it will be interesting to see where he meets his opposite number Sandun Herath, the Park Club captain. Shamry Burah started against Cops last week at 10 but it is not decided whether he will start or be on the bench. Hirantha Perera is moving along nicely this season and the equally good Kanchana Ramanayaka will be his opponent.

Prasath Madusanka the Havies hooker is in red hot form as he matched the top try list with 8 along with Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Bilal Hassen. His intercept try last week showed  how well he reads the game. Sammandaperuma brothers of CR too have improved vastly in comparison to their first round performance in the front row. Jason Dissanayake, Tariq Salih and Arun Kumar have been a pretty decent third row combination so far. But CR lost first 3 lineouts last week. They cannot afford that to happen yet again.

Sudarshana Muthuthantri has been cool with his discipline in the last couple of games and looks like he is not getting involved  in the breakdowns as he used to.  He needs to communicate a lot this week as Lasindu Ishan will start at No8. Yet again another interesting tussle is expected between Rahul De Silva and Kavindu De Costa -the half backs. Their box kicks in the night skies could perhaps make a twist in the tail at the end of 80 minutes.

Ones to watch : Rehan Thiyagarajah (Havelock/Wing) – Ashan De Costa (CR / Fly/Center)

Score prediction : Havelock’s win by 2

CH&FC v Army                   20.02.2016                  KO: 4.30pm               @Race Course

The Soldiers are probably the unluckiest team this season. They started the second week of the Dialog Rugby League with a surprise win over Navy. Since then decision making and some missed kicks became a heartbreaking worry for captain Asoka Jayala’s troops. However, they will be hoping to finish this game on a high. Gayan Salinda has been impressive and has scored 102 points so far. CH&FC on the other hand, can certainly be proud of their second round performance especially with tremendously limited resources.

Ones to watch : Imanka Ariyapala (Army/Center) – Janith Chandimal (CH / full back)

Score prediction : Army win by 15