Winning start for Sri Lanka U19 over Singapore

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Winning start for Sri Lanka U19 over Singapore
Photo Courtesy - Sri-Lanka U20 Rugby Team - 2015 page

The Asia U19 Rugby Championship kicked off today at Yio Chu Kang Stadium in Singapore. The Junior Tuskers played their first game of the championship, when they took on Singapore. Although both teams made a number of errors in the muddy conditions, the Lankans finished their first game on a fine note with a win over the hosts.

Former St. Peters Captain and Havelock’s player Kevin Dixon was outstanding, as he made the most number of yards and scored the dazzling first try in the left flank. Isuru Kongahawatte, who played the entire schools league in the fly half position, was even better as a scrum half today as he made a peach of a conversion. (SL 07 – 00 Sin)

Singapore hit back with a try by Timothy Pan, which was awarded by the referee after consulting his assistant. But the conversion was not accurate and Sri Lanka maintained two point advantage. Tuskers were in to the opposition 22m a few times, nonetheless the wet ball and the ground conditions made it difficult to get more points but conceding knock-ons and penalties.
Few minutes before the half time Reeza Raffaideen nailed a 30m penalty. It was not a pleasant climax in the soggy field but still the Lankans were good with their attacking rhythm. D.S. Senanayake College and navy SC player Buddima Piyarathne was astounding as he ran circles around the hosts.

HT : Sri Lanka 10 (T1 C1 P1) – Singapore 05 (T1)

Photo Courtesy - Singapore Rugby
Photo Courtesy – Singapore Rugby

The second half got a little more intense as the points difference went down to 3 in the 60th minute. The lock combination of Matheesha Sarathchandra and Umesh Madushan was excellent as they managed to steal 3 of the Singapore lineouts. Dazzling hands between Nishon Perera and Kevin Dixon led Reeza Raffaideen to score after a 50m dash, but he failed to make the conversion. Singapore’s replacement Jeromy Ching then scored their second try with some lovely ball presentation (SL 15 – 12 Sin)

The Tuskers changed into attacking gear in the last quarter of the game and Buddima Piyarathne scored the third try courtesy of Dixon’s run and off load; Reeza failed with the extras. Three minutes from then Wesleyite Mithila Perera’s monumental run, where 6 of the Singapore defenders could not stop him, led to a 40m individual brilliance. Isuru Kongahawatte made the conversion look easy.

Although there were so many errors the discipline of the game was absolutely perfect until the 75th minute. Rahul Karunathilaka got a yellow card but it did not affect the Tuskers. Meanwhile, favorites Hong Kong beat Chinese Taipei in the earlier game with a thumping 78 – 12 score line including eleven tries for the defending champions.

FT : Sri Lanka 27 (T4 C2 P1) – Singapore 12 (T2 C1)

 

Sri Lanka will play Hong Kong on the Wednesday the 16th at 12noon SL time at the same venue.