The Sri Lanka rugby women’s team gave large-hearted performance as they fell agonizingly short of beating Hong Kong once again in the plate finals as the hosts succumbed to a 12-5 defeat in the 3rd leg of the Asia Women’s 7’s Championship at Race Course Grounds this evening.
It was a chance for revenge for the Lankans lasses against Hong Kong as they almost beat them(10-5) in the group stages yesterday. The hosts started off with an unconverted try with former skipper Thanuja Weerakkody got in on the act once again as she took the ball at first receiver, showed the dummy, fended off the defender and went all the way to score.
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…
Hong Kong immediately struck back with an unconverted try by Ka Yang Chong. She took the ball from the ruck spotted the gap in the middle and jumped over the line. Sri Lankans almost took back the lead when Dulani Pallikondage made a brilliant run down the tough line. She was brought down by the sweeper but as she tried to get the pass to the support player, the Hong Kong player intentionally knocked down ball. Unfortunately, the referee missed it and Sri Lanka lost a good opportunity to go one up in the ranks.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 5 – Hong Kong 5
Second half was hard fought by both sides. The Lankan defense was admirable against the experienced Hong Kong side and on the other hand Hong Kong was patient under pressure. There were a few decisions which went against the host but it does not take anything away from the Hong Kong team who played a good game right through.
The winning try for Hong Kong came from Ka Yang Chong in the final minute. As heartbreaking as it is, the Sri Lanka Women’s 7s team should take should take pride from the performance they put in front of their home crowd and the grit they have shown overall coming up the ranks relatively quickly. They may have finished at 6th spot this year but the future looks bright for Women’s Rugby in Sri Lanka.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 5 – Hong Kong 12
Sri Lanka cruise to the plate finals
The Lady Tuskers lost their chances of making it to the cup semi-final early morning but they came back strong in their plate semi-finals against Singapore. The rain was falling heavily on the race course grounds and playing conditions were getting tougher every minute. However, the determination from the Lankan women did not waver. They started off the match with a try by their speedster Dulani Pallikondage.
Singapore replied with an unconverted try by Hui Min Chong who pounced on some lack luster defending by the hosts. For a moment Singapore looked in control of the game but soon the game started drifting in favor of Sri Lanka. They scored two more tries before going in to the break. The first one coming from Dulani who ran 70m to score under the post after Thanuja’s initial break through. On the stroke of the half time, it was Ayesha Perera who went over after few phases inside the 10m line.
Half Time: Sri Lanka 17 – Singapore 5
Second half was dominated by Sri Lanka. They were brilliant in their defense once again and their runners were too quick for the Singaporeans. Ayesha scored her second try few minutes into the 2nd half as she used her pace to run on the outside and with a little bit footwork she managed to outfox the sweeper to go all the way.
Kumari Dilrukshi was the next as she grabbed a loose ball and stormed through the middle to score under the post. Sri Lanka had the game in their hand and at the brink of the full time whistle they managed to score another try and extend their score to 32 points.
Full Time: Sri Lanka 32 – Singapore 5
Kazakhstan too good for the hosts
After a long grueling day in the field yesterday, Sri Lanka came into the second day with the hope of a semi-final birth in the cup segment. They were up against the big girls of Kazakhstan in the quarters. The match started off with a try from Kazakhstan. The big No 6 burst through the middle to go over the try line. Sri Lanka looked below par in the morning and the discipline they showed yesterday was somewhat lacking.
Half Time: Kazakhstan 5 – Sri Lanka 0
The second half started off with both teams showing good physicality in the field. Kazakhstan enjoyed most of the possession but Sri Lanka had their opportunities which they failed to capitalize on. Lankans were still trailing in the last two minutes and that’s when they were reduced to 6 women after Anusha Attanyake was sin binned for a high tackle.
Kazakhstan pounced on the numerical advantage and they sealed the game in the final minute with a try by Veronica Stepanyuga.