Air Force ends the league on a high with a bonus point win over the plate champs

Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24

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Air Force SC hosted the plate champs Police SC in the last week of the Nippon Paint Club Rugby League as the home team emerged victorious 26-05 to end the league on a high, clinching the 6th spot. 

The beginning of the game saw Air Force SC receiving a lot of opportunities and opting for the rolling maul option to put the visitors under pressure. Although the Police defence managed to hold on during the first few attempts, the hosts were lucky the fourth time as Gayantha Iddamalgoda gave a beautiful pass out to the short side from the maul to Ishara Madushan, who breached the last line of defence easily and went over for the try. Pramoth Pathmasanka was unsuccessful in converting the try from a tricky angle (AFSC 05 – 00 PSC)

On the 24th-minute mark, Police SC conceded a try on the back of their own mistake as they lost the ball from a maul inside their own 22m line as Isuru Jayarathna collected the loose ball and found the whitewash quite quickly. Pathmasanka completed an excellent conversion from a difficult angle to increase their lead (AFSC 12 – 00 PSC)

Police SC then had a lot of opportunities as they played inside the Air Force 22m territory for a very long time without any luck. But they finally managed to open their account when a scrum just a few metres away from the try line was used brilliantly by the Police forwards, with Sameera Jayasinghe finding the try line to give his team some momentum. Naveen Kanishka unfortunately missed the conversion as he failed to cope with the windy conditions at Ratmalana (AFSC 12 – 05 PSC) 

Half Time : Air Force SC 12 – 05 Police SC 

During the first 30 minutes of the 2nd half, both the teams failed to find any points as the two teams missed out on very close chances. Police SC especially spent a lot of time inside the Air Force 22m zone but couldn’t turn that into points, which came back to haunt them big time. Going into the last 10 minutes, Air Force received a lineout from the 22m line, and they shifted back to the rolling maul option and gained around 18 to 20 metres. And just three phases after the maul ended, Shashika Fernando overpowered the Police defence to score the 3rd try for the Airmen. Pathmasanka added the two points to further increase their lead (AFSC 19 – 05 PSC) 

Trailing by 14 points, the Cops needed something similar to what they produced against Army SC last week. Still, the hosts were very disciplined and made no errors whatsoever as they were determined to register another try and clinch the bonus point to jump over Army in the points table. And just in the last move of the game, Air Force found the bonus point try when the forwards once again got the job done with Rumesh Wasantha going over the line. Madushan added the last two points to their total as the referee blew the whistle to signal the end of the match (AFSC 26 – 05 PSC) 

Udesh Madushanka was phenomenal throughout the game for Air Force as he was a force to reckon with during the numerous rolling mauls that the hosts got right and also in the defence, where they managed to keep the Cops at bay for a long time. For these points, he was adjudged the Black Knight Player of the Match. 

Air Force 26 (4T 3C) beat Police SC 05 (1T) 

Black Knight Player of the Match :- Udesh Madushanka (Air Force SC) 

Points Breakdown  

Air Force SC : Ishara Madushan 1T 1C, Shashika Fernando 1T, Rumesh Wasantha 1T, Isuru Jayarathna 1T, Pramoth Pathmasanka 2C 

Police SC : Sameera Jayasinghe 1T