Army SC rally in second half to gun down Air Force SC

Army SC vs Air Force SC

Army SC recorded yet another win to push their case to be the Plate Champions at this year’s Dialog Rugby League by holding onto a 4 point lead against Air Force SC. The Airmen had plenty of opportunities to score points but couldn’t capitalize.

Air Force capitalized on an Army error and wasted no time by going for the three points. Charith Senevirathna stepped up and drew first blood for the Airmen. (Army SC 00 – Air Force SC 03)

An off-target clearance kick from Charith Senevirathna paved the way for Kasun Maduranga to score a try and the Soldiers were back in the game once again.  Gayan Salinda converted the try to send Army 4 points ahead. (Army SC 07 – Air Force SC 03)

The next points came when Thuwan Packeer was the beneficiary of a sublime Air Force rolling maul. Some gutsy red zone defence by the Soldiers kept the Air Force forwards out but with so many men sucked in, when the ball was sent wide they had no chance and Packeer went over for the Airmen. (Army SC 07 – Air Force SC 08)

Raduva Kausooo broke the line, showing some Fijian flair but he was eventually brought down. After a couple of phases the Airmen were perfectly positioned for a drop goal and Charith Senevisathna obliged, slotting in the 3 points with relative ease. (Army SC 07 – Air Force SC 11)

Army had to pay for an offside infringement as the Airmen made use of their rolling maul, to which Army were struggling to find an answer to, and Niroshan Rajanayaka crossed the line for Air Force SC. Charith Senevirathna successfully converted the try from a difficult angle. (Army SC 07 – Air Force SC 18)

With the last Air Force try coming at the stroke of half time, it was obvious that the Airmen were the happier of the two sides going into the break and Army SC was left with some soul-searching to do, especially about all the penalties they gave up in the first half.

Half time: Army SC 07 (1T, 1C) – Air Force SC 18(2T, 1C, 1P, 1DG)

Army SC hit back as soon as the whistle blew once more. Mohomad Rizvy taking a quick tap and in open play sent the ball out to Ashan Bandara, who danced around 4 AFSC defenders to go over for a brilliant try. The try was converted by Isuru Madagedara (Army SC 14 – Air Force SC 18)

For a brief moment you would have thought that coach ‘Viper’ would be pulling his hair out when Sudaraka Dikkumbura ran all the way across the field after receiving a high kick, but there was a method to his madness. As the Airmen stood still ball watching, he managed to sneak through but was taken down inches from the whitewash. Thirusha Adikaram was at the right place at the right time to collect the off load and he went over for one of the easiest tries he’ll ever score.   (Army SC 19 – Air Force SC 18)

Air Force’s inability to clear their lines effectively cost them again as they gifted Army SC a line out on their own 5-meter line. The Army maul had no trouble barging over the try line from 5 meters out. Dammika Wawage was the man for the Soldiers and Isuru Madagedara added the two points.  (Army SC 26 – Air Force SC 18)

By now Air Force was in a race against time as they had to score twice in order to win. It was the Fijian Raduva Kausoo who came through for the Airmen. He caught the Army defence napping as he broke through right on top of the ruck to go over. Nuwan Perera slotted in the conversion. (Army SC 26 – Air Force 25)

The final reprieve for the Soldiers came in the 77th minute when the Air Force gave up a penalty within kicking range and Isuru Madagedara dutifully kicked it through to give Army SC, what would eventually be, an un assailable lead. (Army SC 29 – Air Force SC 25)

Full Time: Army SC 29(4T, 3C, 1P) – Air Force SC 25 (3T, 2C, 1P, 1DG)

Thepapare Player of the Match: Sudaraka Dikkumbura (ARMY SC)

Point scorers for Army SC Madura Bandara 1T, Ashan Bandara 1T, Thirusha Adikaram 1T, Dammika Wawage 1T, Isuru Madagedara 2C 1P, Gayan Salinda 1C

Point scorers for Air Force SC: Charith Senevirathna 1P 1DG 1C, Thuwan Packeer 1T, Niroshan Rajanayaka 1T, Raduva Kausoo 1T, Nuwan Perera 1C