Thanuja Weerakkody takes Sri Lanka to Plate title

Asia Sevens Series Women 2nd Leg South Korea

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The Sri Lanka Rugby women’s team emerged as Plate Champions securing the 5th place in the second leg of the Asia Sevens Series defeating Thailand 22-5 in the Plate finals.

After failing to qualify for the cup segment, the team led Sanju Wijethilake should be content with their performance to make it to 5th place in the absence of their key players.

Sri Lanka’s sensation Dulani Pallekondage got Sri Lanka off to a magnificent start once again with a lovely running line using her pace to score the opener in the final.

In reply, Thailand were quick to use the width of the field to score their first and it was Rattanapoon Wittayaronnayut who found space to side step her way to equalize in the 4th minute of play.

With seconds to go for lemons, Sri Lanka was able to score with the quick feet of Thanuja Weerakkody. A penalty at the 15 meter saw Weerakkody swing a pass onto Pallikondage and later collect the offload to score the try herself.

Half Time Sri Lanka 10 – Thailand 5

The experience of Thanuja Weerakkody was put to good use when the former skipper’s presence of mind saw her collecting the overthrow from the lineout and sidestepped her way on to the try line making it look easy.

Weerakkody continued her form to complete her hat-trick, scoring the third in similar fashion to the previous one stealing the ball from the Thailand lineout and later sprinting her way to the try line.   

With Thailand not showing intent to fight back, the Sri Lanka women were successful to claim ownership to the 5th place in the second leg of the series.

Sri Lanka finished 5th earlier in Hong Kong at the 1st leg of the Asia Sevens Series as well.

However, coach Sudath Sampath will have a lot to work around when the team returns to the country in terms of gameplay and set-pieces.

Dulani Pallikondage was instrumental in Sri Lanka’s campaign in the second leg scoring a total of six tries and it was impressive to see former captain Thanuja Weerakkody getting her form back.

With the likes of skipper Sandanika Hemakumari poised to return back, Sri Lanka should compile a stronger unit and give their optimum to fight for a semifinal position when the Asia Sevens Series makes its way to Colombo.

Full Time Score: Sri Lanka 22 – Thailand 5

Breakdown

Sri Lanka – Thanuja Weerakkody (3T), Dulani Pallikondage (1T), Ayesha Kaluarachchi (1C)

Thailand – Rattanapoon Wittayaronnayut (1T)


Dulani Pallikondage wins it for Sri Lanka

Dulani Pallikondage’s late try in the second passage of extra time saw the Sri Lanka women clinch a nail-biting 15-10 victory against Singapore to book a spot in the Plate finals of the Asia Sevens Series women’s 2nd leg.

Following the defeat to Japan, the Lankan ladies were drawn alongside Singapore in the Plate semifinals. The Singapore team was quick to take the early advantage and scored in quick succession.

Two tries came in favour of Singapore with Alvina Ow Yong and Jia Yu Chan crossing over.

LIVE Blog: Asia Sevens Series 2nd Leg Day 2

Live action from day 2 of the 2nd of the Asia Sevens Series 2nd leg played at the Namdong Stadium in South Korea.

Sri Lanka struggled in the breakdown which was evident with Singapore taking advantage of their physicality. The effort to built momentum did not seem to work for the ladies and was desperately in need of scoring.

In the 5th minute however, it was Dulani Pallikondage who brought in the first try using her pace to outrun two of her opponents.

Just before the final hooter went off, Sri Lanka’s Wasana Weerakkody was sin-binned for a high tackle offence and the Tuskers were forced to spend the last minutes of the 1st half with six players.

Half Time: Singapore 10 lead Sri Lanka 5

Whilst the ladies were desperately in search of an equalizing try, it was Dulani Pallikondage who brought in the important score, running coast to coast.

Pallikondage’s stupendous pace was no match for the arriving defence as she ran around 3 players to score just next to the post. The easy conversion was however missed by Sri Lanka and the referee blew for extra time.

The first passage of play saw Sri Lanka kicking off proceedings on the wrong foot when their playmaker Dulani Pallikondage was sent out to the naughty chair. With no playmaker in the side, the team held their defence not letting the Singapore women pass through.

In the process of doing so, the ladies conceded 8 penalties in total in extra time as play moved to the second half of additional minutes.

With Pallikondage’s return, she found herself with familiar space on the far corner and went on to score the match-winner covering almost 70 meters.  

Pallikondage completed her hat-trick and Sri Lanka had with themselves a win after 23 minutes of play.

Sri Lanka will meet Thailand in the Plate Final

Final Score: Sri Lanka 15 (3T) beat Singapore 10 (2T)

Breakdown

Sri Lanka – Dulani Pallikondage (3T)
Singapore – Alvina Ow Yong (1T), Jia Yu Chan (1T)

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Japan crush Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka’s reputation with the heavyweights continues as the Sri Lanka Rugby Women were annihilated 41-0 by the Japanese, in the final group stage game in the 2nd leg.

The 2nd leg of the Asia Sevens Series Women’s in Korea will see Sri Lanka once again in the Plate competition battling it out for the 5th and 6th positions. Earlier yesterday, the team won against hosts Korea but lost out to Hong Kong.

The Lankans had an unexpected start to the game but couldn’t hold on to possession that finally cost them this massive losing margin.

The absence of senior players Randika Kumudumali and Sandanika Hemakumari was clearly visible as the team lacked the physicality to contest head to head in the breakdowns.

Chiharu Nakamura opened the scoring with two converted tries under her name while Yume Hirano added the third collecting the ball right from the restart.

Just before lemons, it was Honoka Tsutsumi who added her name on the scoring sheet making her way through the crumbling Lankan defence.

Half time: Japan 24 lead against Sri Lanka 0

The second half was nothing different but Sri Lanka showed intent to hold on to the ball and try to create opportunities for their fast runners.

However, they lacked the continuity of play and that let Japan score three more tries in the second half.

With time running out, Raichelmiyo Bativakalolo finished the game with an individual effort try that was later converted by Nakamura.

Sri Lanka will play Singapore in the Plate semi-final and provided they win that, they will qualify for the final which will be the playoff for the 5th and 6th positions.

Full time score: Japan 41 – Sri Lanka 0

Breakdown

Japan – Chiharu Nakamura (2T 1C),  Yume Hirano (2T), Yume Okidora (1T 2C), Honda Tsutsumi (1T) & Raichelmiyo Bativakalolo (1T)