Sri Lanka Women got a much-needed victory under their name in their final match against South Korea on day 1 of the 3rd leg of Asia 7’s Women’s Championship at the Racecourse grounds.
After a tough day at office, the Lady Tuskers got their first win under their name. From morning they showed good skills in their defence and they continued to be disciplined right till the end.
Thanuja Weerakkody was the first to get points on board. After few phases inside the Korean half, Thanuja found space on the outside to go all the way. Few minutes later, she went over for the second time and this time it was a solo effort. She got the ball around the half way mark, showed the dummy, used her strength to shove off the final defender and went all the way to score.
Sri Lanka ended the first half with another try and it was once again Thanuja who did all the hard work. She drove through the middle dragging defenders on to her, which opened spaces on the outside. It was Dulani Pallakondage who got her name on the score book.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 19 – South Korea 0
Second half was total domination from the hosts as they piled up two more tries. Thanuja Weerakkody played a vital role in almost every play they made right through the match. Dasuni De Silva was the next to score for the Lankans after an initial break through from Thanuja.
At the stroke of the final whistle, Kumari went over the line to score the fifth try for the Lankans. A moral boosting victory for Lady Tuskers who will face Kazakhstan tomorrow in the cup quarter finals.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 29 – South Korea 0
Sri Lanka Women let Hong Kong slip through
Sri Lanka Women’s target was to defeat Hong Kong in the 3rd leg and they came ever so close in achieving that today. After a tough grind against Japan, Lady Tuskers looked a little rugged on the field . Up front their defence was aggressive but they were clumsy in their offense which took away their chance of scoring points and taking the game away from their opponents.
However, it was the hosts who got first points on board through an unconverted try by Wasana Weerakkody. Dulani Pallakondage showed great match awareness as she grabbed the loose ball, ran through the gaps and got a timely offload to Wasana who went all the way. Once again, Sri Lanka went to the break with their noses in front.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 5 – Hong Kong 0
Second half Hong Kong made a few changes and got some fresh legs on the field. They used their big built players to push Sri Lanka back deep inside their own half. Sri Lanka’s only strategy was to use their runners to run around the defence but the Hong Kong women made sure they cramped up the space, not allowing the Lankan speedsters to run.
Under pressure, the hosts lost Thanuja Weekakkody who received a yellow car and that paved the way for Hong Kong to get their first try on board. It was Jessica Ho who went over after a few phases inside the Sri Lankan 22m. They followed it up with another try few minutes later when Poon Hoi Yan pounced on the ample space which was given by the Sri Lankan defence. They were hanging back way too long which made things easier for the strong Hong Kong side.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 5 – Hong Kong 10
Sri Lanka Women go down fighting against Japan
The score line may well be deceiving to anyone who missed the match. It was much closer than it looks as the Sri Lanka women made it tough for the Japanese. Japan kicked off and early on both teams were scrappy. Japan was on the offense but Sri Lanka held them off in the first 3 minutes. They put their body on the line and defended as if their life depended on it. However, it were the Japanese who drew first blood. Skipper Nakamura went over to put Japan in the lead.
The lead lasted only 1 minute as the hosts bounced back with a converted try. It was beautifully worked by the Lankans, beautiful running lines and after breaking through they had their speedster Ayesha Kaluarachchi to sprint her way to score under the post. No one would have expected the Lady Tuskers to take the lead in the match but they went to the break with a 2-point lead.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 7 – Japan 5
Lankans started off the second half with the same intensity. Their defence was by far the best they put on in this year’s series so far. First few minutes they managed to contain the Japanese and maintain their lead but towards the latter part of the half they were found napping which ultimately cost them the game.
Japan took back the lead with a converted try by skipper Nakamura who found space right through the middle and she followed it up with another try on the final whistle to seal the victory. Sri Lankan Women should take heart from this performance and move on to the next match as they face Hong Kong at 3.16 in the evening.