Will CR upset wounded Kandy?

22

Following a bruising defeat at the hands of CH, Kandy Sports Club makes their way down to Colombo once again, this time to Longdon Place as they take on an inconsistent CR & FC outfit in what looks to be another tricky encounter for the visitors.

Will CR manage to trip favorites Kandy and hand them back-to-back defeats?

Most recent encounter

Following the departure of head coach Nilufer Ibrahim, CR’s fortunes have turned around as the Longdon Place lads have gone on to thump Army and narrowly get over the line against Navy most recently.

On the contrary, Kandy Sports Club tasted defeat for only the second time this season, in embarrassing fashion, at the hands of age old rivals CH & FC.

Last meeting

CR were blown away by the physicality of the hosts the last time these two teams met in the first round up in Nittawela. CR hung on, going in level at the break, however the Kandy forwards put their hands up, rolling over the CR lads to claim an 11-point win.

Read More : CR no match for superlative Kandy forwards

This defeat up at Nittawela began the rut as CR went on to lose half of their 8 games, winning just 3 and drawing 1. Kandy, on the other hand were spurred on by the strong victory, going on to win all but two games.

What to look out for

Kandy’s forwards were dominated in unusual fashion at the Race course and there will be no doubt their front-eight will be aiming to bounce back with yet another dominant display as they meet CR this weekend for the second time in the league.

Even though they are known for their fast paced game, the CR forwards will have their work cut  out and will surely need to put their hands up if they are to make any inroads into this smarting Kandy outfit.

Read More : Will CH topple table toppers Havelocks?

Tasting defeat isn’t something Kandy are used to and they will want to get back on track of defending their title as they travel down to Longdon Place, in what looks like a mouthwatering prospect for the viewers.

Key match ups

Moving Shehan Pathirana to the no.08 position in the absence of Buwaneka Udangamuwa did not pan out the way Kandy would have hoped for, however, an integral part of the Kandy loose-forward trio, the former Royal captain’s clash with youngster Joel Perera will be one to have a close eye on. Both steady over the ball and strong ball carriers will hope to add their input when called upon.

Stephan Sivaraj’s surprise call up has paid dividends so far and his partnership with Rahul has blossomed in unexpected fashion, however, going up against the likes of Roshan Weerarathne and Nigel Ratwatta will be a whole different challenge for the duo but this is one aspect of the game to have an eye on over the weekend.

Pocket dynamo up against his counterpart at back field, Kevin Dixon on Thilina Wijesinghe will be another key match-up to have an eye out for in this crucial game for the visitors.

Team news

The void left by Buwaneka Udangamuwa was sorely felt by the visitors, however, his participation in this encounter seems uncertain as injury woes continue to hamper the progress of Kandy Sports Club.

Read More : Sooriyabandara and Dissanayake to miss the rest of the DRL

Dhanushka Ranjan will be expected to line up for the visitors as he was forced to sit out the previous loss due to a slight injury niggle.

Consistency at the locking position and in the centers has been a headache for CR throughout the season as neither pairing has been able to lock down their position in the run on XV. However, major changes should be expected as CR will be looking to keep the winning formula in-tact.  

Predictions

The visitors will know they cannot let their guard down for a moment following last week’s mishap, however, CR, thirsty for gore will head in sniffing blood. It looks a long shot for the hosts though, money would be on Kandy getting over the line.

Kandy to win by 12+ points.