After losing out their opening game against China, the Lady Tuskers claimed the Plate title in the 1st leg defeating Thailand in the 5th/6th play-off a short while.
Taking flight to Hong Kong with a promise of making it to the top 3 this was not how head coach Sudath Sampath would have expected it to end. With two more legs to go, Sri Lanka will definitely look to improve on their stance and make a podium finish.
Playing against the Thai ladies, Sri Lanka were pushed back with the early yellow card of Thanuja Weerakkody paving way for a try by Piyamat Chomphumee of Thailand.
Taking control right from the restart, it was the Lankan speedster Dulani Pallekondage who had been in sublime form in the tournament who drew first blood covering almost 50 meters.
Next, it was Charani Liyanage that made the breakthrough just before the halftime buzzer to give the Lady Tuskers the lead (10-5).
Pallekondage continued her form making inroads once again to score an important try after the breather. Minutes later, Thanaporn Huankid’s try for Thailand changed the scope of the game.
With a try separating the two teams, the pressure was mounting on the Lankan side and it was Charani Liyanage who got hold of the ball in her own 22, made a sprint on the outside to score the match-winner covering almost 90 meters. With the conversion from Ayesha Kaluarachchi, Sri Lanka claimed the Plate title and will finish 5th.
It was a satisfactory finish for the Sri Lankan women playing their first tournament since the Borneo sevens in March 2018. Even on day two, the side looked unsettled relying heavily on individual performances for scoring tries.
Both Pallekondage and Ayesha Kaluarachchi were impressive but focus should be drawn to the rucks and how Sri Lanka position themselves in defense.
Full time score: Sri Lanka 22(4T 1C) – Thailand 10(2T)
Sri Lanka – Tries from Dulani Pallekondage (2), Charani Liyanage(2)
Conversion by Ayesha Kaluarachchi
Thailand – Tries from Piyamat Chomphumee, Thanaporn Huankid
Earlier, Sri Lanka was defeated by heavyweights China in their final group stage game that ended 36-0 in favour of China. Failing to make a cup semifinal, the Lady Tuskers’ were later pushed to the Plate semifinals set to play South Korea.
The South Korea game was one of the noteworthy performances from the side where Sri Lanka led 14-0 in the first half but later succumbed to the Korean defense to trail 15-14.
It was Wasana Weerakkody, the replacement forward’s end to end try that sealed victory for Sri Lanka as they finished 21-14.