Sri Lanka end first-leg in their familiar place

Asian Sevens Series – 1st Leg

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Strong defense, coupled with a stinging attack, saw the Sri Lankan Tuskers defeated Philippines 40-12 to bring an end to the first leg of the Asia Seven’s Series played in Hong Kong.

Following yet another demoralizing defeat at the hands of Hong Kong, Sri Lanka took to the field in their third place game against Philippines.

Sri Lanka kicked off proceedings with intentions of ending on a high. Naveen Henakankanamge did not waste time crossing the white wash for the first score of their final game. Sudam Sooriyaarchchi was the next to punish the Philippines as the Tuskers were given too much space on the edge.

Philippines found their footing following a shaky start and were the next to get on the scoreboard through Donald Coleman. Joe Dawson added the extras, however, the Tuskers continued to lead by a converted try.

The Tuskers continued with their momentum, scoring through series debutant Dinuk Amarasinghe. The youngster was set up well by Danish Dayan as the explosive Kandy outside back powered his way through the ticket, offloading for the younger to get over the line.

With moments left in the first half , Philippines pushed hard, but the Tuskers defense held firm as the first half ended with Sri Lanka in front.

Halftime: Sri Lanka 21 lead Phillipphine 07

Philippines came out for the second half, hanging onto possession, knowing they needed to strike first.

Strike first they did through Joe Dawson as the Centre skipped his way down the end Naveen scored the first in the game. Unfortunately he missed the conversion as the score remained unchanged.

Danush Dayan registered a score himself – – continuing his impressive game – – as the Tuskers continued to pull away.

Sri Lanka added to the Philippines’ pain as Buddima Piyaratne made a scintillating break, finishing off beside the post as Coach Peter Wood rung the changes, brining on the bench with a hope on injecting some ice into the game.

Standing captain for this tournament, Srinath Sooriyabandara added a score himself in the third place game, putting the game to bed.

Kevin Dixon surprised the viewers and his opponent, with a quick tap, but, the attack was brought to a premature end with Reeza Rafaideen knocking on, ending game and first leg with what looked like a strong tournament for Sri Lanka but with plenty left to ponder.

Full time: Sri Lanka 40 beat Philippines 12

Score breakdown:

Sri Lank a- Naveen Henakakanamge 1T, Sudan Sooriyaarchchi 1T 3C, Dinuk Amarasinghe 1T, Danush Dayan 1T Buddima Piyaratne 1T Srinath Sooriyabandara 1T 2C

Philippines – Donald Coleman 1T, Joe Dawson 1T, 1C

Sri Lanka vs Hong Kong – Cup Semifinal

Sri Lanka fell prey once again to their age-old nemesis in the sevens format as hosts Hong Kong with their superlative performance outscored the Tuskers in the 1st leg cup semi-final of the Asia Sevens Series.

Sri Lanka who made it to the cup semifinals finishing second in the group behind Japan were made to toil hard on the Hong Kong Football Club grass while Hong Kong came out with an all around display to stomp the Lankans.

Jamie Hood drew first blood spotting the gap on the outside and after 6 minutes of midfield action, Kam Shing Yu brought Hong Kong their second try to take a 14-0 lead at half time.

Sri Lanka’s efforts with ball in hand didn’t seem to go to plan with the two speedsters on either side, Reeza Raffaideen and Buddhima Piyarathana not making considerable line breaks.

Meanwhile, Toby Fen got the first in the second half with his physicality shrugging Sudam Sooriyarachchi away. Max Denmark followed to add his name on the score sheet scoring off a 10-meter scrum.

Sri Lanka had a possible three to four chances available to utilize but all of them went astray with the team failing to hold on to the ball.

Benjamin Rimene finished things off with a try that he later converted as Hong Kong made another cup final.

The Tuskers will face the Philippines who have been a revelation this series for the 3rd/4th place playoff.

Full time score: Sri Lanka 0 – Hong Kong 31 (5T 3C)

Breakdown:

Hong Kong – Tries by Benjamin Riemene, Max Denmark, Kam Shing Yu, Toby Fen&  Jamie Hood

Conversions (3) by Benjamin Riemene

Sri Lanka vs Chinese Taipei – Match 3

The Sri Lanka Men’s team continued their form from the 1st day to their final game against Chinese Tapiei as the Tuskers secured an important 33-12 win to finish second in the group.

Coach Peter Woods had opted to go with his replacement options in the first half and the gamble worked to Sri Lanka’s benefit as they scored three converted scores.

Buddhima Piyarathane who missed the trick in the Asian Games showcased that he is still worthy of a starting number as he crossed over for the first try of the day.

The big Dinuk Amerasinghe, who had a dream start to his national sevens, justified his inclusion when he fended off two Tapiei players covering almost 60 meters to score the second under the post.

Amerasinghe was up in arms when he repeated the same to the next, this time off a line out as the Tuskers finished 21-0 after the first half.

Half Time Sri Lanka 21 – Chinese Taipei 0

With a lead of 21 points, the humidity conditions at Hong Kong seemed to take a toll on the Sri Lankan team as they let loose early second half. Two tries came in quick succession for Tapiei off Sung Che Yung and Lai Kuan and the Tuskers looked to be back peddling.

The substitutes in the form of Gayan Weeraratne and Srinath Sooriyabandara steadied the ship as the Tuskers scored two more.

Danush Dayan scored the team’s fourth off some good hands from Gayan Weeraratne while Naveen Henakankanamage finished off the game scoring his first.

Full time score: Sri Lanka 33 (5T 4C) – Chinese Taipei 12 (2T 1C)

Breakdown:

Sri Lanka – Tries by Dinuk Amerasinghe (2), Buddhima Piyarathane, Danush Dayan, Naveen Henakankanamage

Conversions (3) by Kevin Dixon, Sudam Sooriyarachchi