So, how did we go last week? 2/4 with CH upsetting the apple cart and beating Kandy by 13+. No one saw that margin coming!
Police hung on and stayed in the hunt till half time, before a yellow and a red card put an end to any hope, that they would DRAW or beat Havelocks.
In a nutshell…
CR scraped home against Navy under 12 points.
Army took out Air Force by exactly 12.
Havelocks beat Police 12+ after some huff and puff, in a game marred with cards.
CH made a complete mockery of Kandy to win 13+ call and reversed tables.
S Maduwantha did the business with an 11+ performance but T Wijesinghe on the back of some shocking Kandy play, didn’t.
The 47+ penalty count was easily breached with well over 50 penalties handed out.
This week, again, like last week, let’s look at the game of the week. White hot, and form horse CH will take on top-rated Havelocks.
An intriguing clash of very similar styles. Tongue in cheek, I will dub it the battle of the UBERS. Why? … both sets of forwards who have plenty of heavyweights in their ranks, tend to take an eternity to move from one line out to another in the hot Colombo heat. This really slows the game down but upon closer inspection of my video watch analysis, these teams have high strike rates off a line out set piece and scoring. It could very well be a potential ploy. That being the slow arrival via Pick me, I mean UBER.
Havelocks have a huge appetite for conceding penalties and at times, very deliberately slow and kill the pace of the game. They do it well and get away with it. Largely because they back their set piece and believe it makes up for any misgivings. This week, in my view, will be the time they pay for it. Keep reading.
CH, on the other hand, aren’t exactly the most law-abiding bunch either but have a weapon of choice when penalties are offered. Samuel “James” Maduwantha, AKA the “dark sniper”. He can kick goals from the foreshore at Bamba beach and convert at Racecourse. That’s how good this guy is.
Furthermore, the “equalizer” in this game will be NZ born, HK based ref Lawrence Wilkinson. He will no doubt want a clean release at the tackle and won’t tolerate any deliberate slowing down of the ball. If anyone does, expect cards and swift ones at that.
I have no doubt that Maduwantha will get ample opportunity to show his wares this weekend. For that very reason, I am going for another adventurous double with a point spread. CH to win by under 12 points and S Maduwantha to score 13+ points.
Also tipping no less than 12 lineouts and at least 14 penalties for the game with a minimum of 2 yellow cards.
Rest of the card:
Kandy to bounce back and beat CR by 1-12 … that said expect a titanic tussle with errors and sparks of brilliance mixed in two.
Army to beat Police by 7 points and under or DRAW. Police are running into many “traffic jams” but when on song are – A-OK.
Navy to beat Air Force by 7+. A mini-resurgence from the Sailors who are moving forward late in the season.
Stats stacking and tracking predictor:
Army and Police to produce 41+ points combined
S Pathirana to take 4+ clean line out takes
Havelocks to concede 11+ penalties and at least 1 yellow card