Playmaker James Hood was influential in Hong Kong’s 31-14 win over the Tuskers as the Asian gold medalists record yet another win over a witless Tuskers outfit in the second leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series #AR7s played in Korea.
The second last game of the day, a blockbuster affair between Asian Games champions and the side fourth in Asia.
Hong Kong began promisingly as the favourites flew out of the blocks in the usual fashion and were rewarded with an early score.
Jack Neville burst through the heart of the Sri Lankan defence and scored under the post following a missed tackle from the mercurial Srinath Sooriyabandara. Jamie Hud added the extras from close range as the game took a familiar look early on. (HK 07-00 SL)
In red hot form, former Anthonian, Dinuk Amarasinghe struck back straight away – his 6th try of the series – following an unusual error from Hong Kong. Srinath Sooriyabandara slotted over from close range to level proceedings. (HK 07-07 SL)
No sooner, a sublime restart collection from Danush Dayan saw Srinath Sooriyabandara touchdown with a piece of individual brilliance.
The Kandy halfback spotted space at the back, chipping, chasing, collecting and diving over the whitewash to score undoubtedly the best try of the series so far.
He himself added the extras as the Tuskers pulled ahead for the first time in the game. (HK 07-14 SL)
With time running out in the first half, Hong Kong put together one final attack in usual manner.
Mike Coverdale fended would-be-tackler Sri Lankan Captain Sudarshana Mututhantri dumping the forward in his tracks on his way to setting up Toby Fenn.
The resulting conversion from wide out went astray off the boot of James Hood as the Tuskers took a slender two point lead into the sheds.
Half Time: Hong Kong 12 trail Sri Lanka 14
The favourites got out of the blocks in similar fashion to the first half as the Tuskers were made to defend, putting their bodies on the line, however, it was all in vain as the Tuskers defence folded under pressure yielding yet another try and the lead with it.
This time it was Mike Coverdale who got his name on the score sheet. Hood failed with the extras as the game headed into its final exchanges. (HK 19-14 SL)
Captain Muthuthantri’s evening went from bad to worse as a brain-fade from the experienced forward saw him receiving yellow for a cynical offside offence.
If defending with seven was hard enough, defending with six was close to impossible.
Hong Kong brought on the style as the Tuskers were reduced to six, and was rewarded with a try to James Hood. The Tuskers slipped off tackles leaving Hood with a stroll to the line as the game stretched out of the reach of the Sri Lankans. (HK 26-14 SL)
With time all but over, James Hood struck a sublime cross kick for a spectacular score for Max Denmark as the replacement put further daylight between the teams, ending the game in style for Hong Kong.
This defeat means the Tuskers will play out a must win encounter against Korea tomorrow (30th September) at 9.04 am Sri Lanka time.
Full Time: Hong Kong 31 beat Sri Lanka 14
Hong Kong – Jack Neville 1T, Toby Fenn 1T, James Hood 1T 3C, Max Denmark 1T, Mike Coverdale 1T
Sri Lanka – Dinuk Amarasinghe 1T, Srinath Sooriyabandara 1T 1C, Reeza Raffaideen 1C
Dixon inspired Tuskers begin in emphatic fashion
Kevin Dixon played like a man possessed as the youngster returned to the National fold with a try and two conversions, inspiring the Tuskers to begin the second leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series #AR7s in South Korea on a winning note.
Third game in the Men’s segment saw third placed Sri Lankan Tuskers take on Plate runners up Chinese Taipei, in both team’s first encounter of the second leg.
The Tuskers kicked off proceeding and began on a bright note, however, was caught out by Tu Ming Kuang as the he finished off a slick, move following a few sublime off loads. (CT 07-00 SL)
With their backs against the wall early on, the Tuskers responded through Dinuk Amarasinghe. The debutant from the first leg, carrying his great form into this leg as well, stepped up with the opener for the Tuskers. Kevin Dixon added the extras from under the post, equalling proceedings. (CT 07-07 SL)
Following the resulting restart, pressure from the Chinese Taipei men saw the Tuskers play XV’s style rugby, however, the Taipei men failed to capitalize following bad handling.
Making his debut in the shorter format, Nishon Perera was the next to get his name on the score sheet as the latest CH recruit, was at hand, proving vital support to finish off for the tuskers.
Kevin Dixon doubled his conversion stats, taking the Tuskers into half time with a converted-try lead.
Half Time: Chinese Taipei 07 trail Sri Lanka 14
Sri Lanka brought their razzle-dazzle out for the second half, scoring thirty seconds into the second stanza through Kevin Dixon.
Returning to the sevens fold following injury, the former Peterite skipper, broke through and brought about an ankle breaking side step, scoring and converting his own try. (CT 07-21 SL)
The men for Taipei struck back straight away as the Tuskers seemed to take things for granted following their two converted-try lead.
A high shot by Danush Dayan did not go unnoticed, and the Chinese Taipei lads struck from the resulting penalty through Liu Yao Cheng. Good support play was on display yet again as the lanky center slipped past on rushing defenders to score.
The try, however, went unconverted, leaving Chinese Taipei with plenty to do with time running out on them. (CT 12-21 SL)
With three minutes left on the clock, substitute Reeza Raffaideen repaid his coaches’ faith for bringing him on with a try in the far corner. The try went unconverted, however, and Tuskers seemingly put the game to bed. (CT 12-26 SL)
With the hooter all but sounded, and the game had gone past the full time mark, the Tuskers went about on one final attack and were duly rewarded.
Having emptied their tanks, a grubber through the Taipei defence, saw the Chinese Taipei lads wanting to kicking it dead and end the game, however, the ball held up in-goal, as Buddima Piyarathne rushed through the defence to dot down and end the game in comprehensive fashion.
Full Time: Chinese Taipei 12 lose to Sri Lanka 33
Chinese Taipei: Tu Ming Kuang 1T 1C, Liu Yao Cheng 1T
Sri Lanka: Dinuk Amarasinghe 1T, Nishon Perera 1T, Kevin Dixon 1T 2C, Reeza Rafaideen 1T, Buddima Piyarathne 1T, Sudam Sooricrchchi 1C