The Sri Lanka national rugby 7s team ended their Asian 7s series on a winning note outclassing South Korea 22 points to 05 in the 3rd place play off at the Asian 7s series 3rd leg concluded at the Racecourse International rugby stadium this evening.
Having suffered an agonizing loss against the same opposition yesterday during the group stages, the Tuskers were pumped up to avenge that defeat and finish their campaign on a positive note.
Sri Lanka went into an early lead when Richard Dharmapala’s determination saw him through to the try line in the second minute, overcoming some desperate Korean defenders amidst the horrendous ground conditions. Tarinde Ratwatte missed the conversion from a difficult angle. (SL 05 – 00 SK)
The Tuskers went on to extend their lead midway of the first half through arguably their player of the tournament Danushka Ranjan who scored a brilliant try fending off the attentions of a few Korean defenders. Ratwatte added the extras with ease as Sri Lanka lead to 12 points (SL 12 – 00 SK)
South Korea however had the composure, keeping things tight setting up phases which eventually saw them grounding the ball over the try line. Jinkyu Lee got his name on the score sheet which meant the game was still in the balance by half time.
HALF TIME: SRI LANKA 12 – SOUTH KOREA 05
The 2nd half saw Rehan Silva and Omalka Gunarathne replacing Sudarshana Muthuthanthri and Jason Dissaayake. Rehan Silva in particular made his presence felt almost immediately taking on 2 Korean players before popping a neat off load to send Richard Dharmapala who covered 40 meters, to the try line. Reeza Rafaideen however could not find the accuracy in his conversion attempt. (SL 17 – 05 SK)
Reeza Rafaideen ended the game in fine style using his pace to outpace his opponent and dive over by the corner flag. The conversion attempt was off target but it didn’t matter as his team had done all the hard work to earn a victory and end their 7s series on a winning note.
FULL TIME: SRI LANKA 22 – SOUTH KOREA 05
An exhausted Sri Lanka Rugby skipper Sudarshana Muthuthanthri speaking to ThePapare.com moments after their win said;
“It wasn’t the ending we would have wished for but the boys played well and we are pleased how we manage to end this year’s series”
Danushka Ranjan who had an outstanding tournament had this to say;
“Overall I think we did well and we didn’t make the mistake we did yesterday against South Korea. A bit disappointed with our performance against Hong Kong but in the end I think we did well to finish 3rd.”
Meanwhile Hong Kong came up back from behind to defeat Japan in the Cup finals that went into extra time. Hong Kong along with Japan now qualify for the Rugby 7s World cup which would be held next year at San Francisco.
Sri Lanka fall short against Hong Kong yet again
Sri Lanka once again were unable to get past the Hong Kong hurdle as they came off second best by 26 points to 12 in their Asian 7s series 3rd leg Cup quarter final worked off at the Racecourse International Rugby stadium.
Hong Kong have been the “Achilles heel” for the Sri Lankans in the 7s series and the Tuskers would have hoped playing at home might give them an extra advantage. But they got off to the worst possible start conceding a try inside the opening 10 seconds right off the kick off. Hong Kong’s Toby Fenn took advantage of some calamitous error of judgement by Sudarshana Muthuthanthri to score by the corner flag.
Things only got worse for the hosts as a couple of minutes later Kam Shing intercepted a bad pass by Srinath Sooriyabandara to dive over under the posts. Jamie Hood added the easy extras to put Hong Kong in a commanding position. (SL 00 – 12 HK) Hong Kong piled on the misery for the Tuskers who were down to 6 men with the Referee showing a yellow card to Richard Dharmapala. Jason Jeyam took advantage of the numerical advantage sneaking through the blind side from close range to score their third try of the game. Jamie Hood was on target with the conversion as Hong Kong extended their lead (SL 00 – 19 HK)
Danushka Ranjan however gave a glimmer of hope for his team with a spectacular solo effort covering 60 meters. The try went unconverted as the two teams went into the break.
HALF TIME: SRI LANKA 05 – HONG KONG 19
Sri Lanka’s hopes of a comeback all were but over by the 9th minute when Hong Kong’s Kam Shing burnt Danushka Ranjan on the outside to score his second try of the game. Jamie Hood put over the conversion despite the angle and Hong Kong were well and truly in control. Sri Lanka did manage to score another try but it was a mere consolation try when Srinath Sooriyabandara dived over under the posts in the dying moments of the game. Kevin Dixon added the extras as the game drew to a close.
FULL TIME: SRI LANKA 12 – HONG KONG 26