Asia 7s Day 1: Sri Lanka lose to China after last-minute try

Sri Lanka Rugby sevens team
1Danushka Ranjan took the captaincy helms in the absence of the seniors

The second leg of the Asia sevens series kicked off in South Korea earlier today with the hosts finishing unbeaten whilst Sri Lanka finished second in their pool after going down to China in their last game of the day. As a result Sri Lanka will play South Korea in the Cup semi-final tomorrow at 9.35 am SL time.

Sri Lanka 21 v 26 China

Captain Danushka Ranjan made a try saving tackle on Chinese winger Ma Chong but made a crucial error in judgement as he made a run and then went to ground isolated. China capitalized and turned over the ball to score the first points of the game. Sri Lanka struck back straightaway as Tarinda Ratwatte made a superb fend on the Chinese player and went under the post to score a try which he himself converted. (Sri Lanka 07 – 07 China)

While attacking in the opposition 22m, Ranjan conceded a penalty but Tarinda Ratwatte made a crucial tackle on the ball carrier. Although it seemed like a completely legitimate play by Ratwatte, unfortunately he was sin-binned by the referee who ruled him to have failed to move 10m. China got out of jail with that opportunity and another break by Zhenye Hu saw them making a few yards but Srinath Sooriyabandara made a valiant effort to bring him to ground, only to have the support player score in the corner.

Sooriyabandara made a flashing break but didn’t have the legs to finish thus put in another lovely kick for Saliya Handapangoda to chase and score the try which Kanchana Ramanayake then converted. Just before half time China managed to narrow the deficit through Hun Shan’s try.

HT: Sri Lanka 14 – 12 China

China hit back immediately after the break with a try as the Sri Lankan rush defense did not go according to plan. Another knock-on by the Tuskers gave China possession and they kicked for the territorial advantage for a lineout at Sri Lanka’s 5m mark. Richard Dharmapala could not execute the lineout throw but Sri Lanka were lucky to escape without conceding points through some brilliant work from Ratwatte.

Omalka Gunarathne made a scintillating run just after coming off the bench and made a lovely offload to  Ramanayake who popped a pass to Kavindu Perera to score the third try of the game for the Tuskers. Dulaj Perera added the extras (Sri Lanka 21 – 19 China)

Going into the last minute of the game Dulaj made a long kick from the restart but poor timing by Sashan Mohamed, who touched the player in the air, resulted in a penalty for China,, who took the quick tap, scored in the dying seconds of the game to clinch the win.

Meanwhile hosts South Korea looked strong as they beat Japan 36 – 05, Chinese Taipei 45 – 12 and the first leg winners Hong Kong 28 – 21.

Other results & fixtures

Asia Rugby 7s Fixtures & Results

Tharinda Ratwatte scored the first try in just the second minute of the game, to give Sri Lanka a good start to their 2nd game of the day in South Korea.

Dhanushka Ranjan then went over the line twice, beating the Malaysian for sheer pace, however Sri Lanka’s kicking was not really up to mark as all three tries in the 1st half went unconverted. Nevertheless, the Tuskers went into the break with a 15-00 lead. 

Sri Lanka began the 2nd half in the same vein of form as Ratwatte made some great yards and offloaded to Sooriyabandara who scored the 4th try of the game. A few phase later Hirantha Perera got away from two tacklers to score his 1st try of the game and with Dulaj Perera converting both tries comfortably, Sri Lanka’s lead rose to 29 points.

A smart pop pass from Omalka Gunaratne helped Hirantha Perera cross the line for his 2nd try of the game. Dulaj Perera’s restart went untouched and Sooriyabandara went in for his 2nd try of the game – taking Sri Lanka’s tally to 7 in the game. Dulaj Perera managed one conversion of the two.

Sri Lanka could not close out the game at that however as although the defense had been impressive throughout the game, they gave away a try in the very last phase of the game.

FT: Sri Lanka 41 – 05 Malaysia

Malaysia came into this game after a heavy loss to China as well so it should be interesting to see how the Tuskers fare against China. The game is set to begin  at 3.12pm SL time.

Sri Lanka got their campaign off to a nice start, beating Singapore 27-05 in their 1st game of the Asia 7s in South Korea.

The Tuskers looked alittle rusty at kick-off and took nearly 5 minutes to get a score on the board. Captain Dhanushka Ranjan was the 1st try scorer as went past wide and beat two defenders comfortably to the line. Sri Lanka then changed gears as Ranjan’s distribution to Kavindu Perera led to another try. Dulaj Perera made 1 of the two conversions as the Tuskers led 12-00 going into half time.

At the restart, Kanchana Ramanayake collected the high ball but was taken into touch. Kavindu Perera made a few steps to gain yards and then from the breakdown, the ball was sent out wide to Tarinda Ratwatte, who made a brilliant 45m run to score. Perera’s conversion hit the bar. (17-00)

Sevens sensation Srinath Sooriyabandara made hispresence felt on the field as he made a brutal tackle and then picking up the loose ball to score his 1st try. The try-scorer himself took the conversion but it went astray. Some attacking play by Singapore saw them score their 1st try of the game a few inutes later. (22-05)

From the restart, Richard Dharmapala gathered the ball in the Tuskers’ 22m and made 30m run with a ‘show and go’. He offloaded to the supporting player Sooriyabandara who then put in a lovely grubber kick after a 35m run which Ramanayake collected to score Sri Lanka’s 5th try.

FT: Sri Lanka 29 -05 Singapore