Despite the lackluster performance in the second leg of the Asia Rugby Sevens series in Korea, Sri Lanka has still managed to remain in the top 4.
It was a leg like no other for Sri Lanka. After a fairly decent start in the 2018 edition of the Asia Rugby Sevens Series, the ‘mighty’ Tuskers lost their way right from the start of the second leg held in Korea.
Comparing the 1st leg’s performance with the 2nd, a drastic difference could be clearly seen in the player’s fitness levels and also in usual game play. Statistically if you look into Sri Lanka’s disciplinary record in the concluded second leg, the boys have conceded more penalties and also a yellow card playing a match lesser.
Looking back at the Hong Kong game in Hong Kong, Sri Lanka led in the first half showing great skill and composure. But, as the second half got underway the physicality and fatigue of our boys allowed Hong Kong to secure a convincing win at the end of the game.
Fortunately though, Korea’s disappointing run in Hong Kong favored our local players as the 3rd place finish in the first leg and 6th place finish in the second only cost Sri Lanka to drop by one position in the whole series.
With the 8 points in Hong Kong and disappointing 4 points in Korea, Sri Lanka are in 4th place in Asia with 12 points. The Tuskers will have to get back on their ‘A’ game and make a surprise comeback hitting their oppositions hard at home.
If Sri Lanka is to retain their position as the 3rd Best Sevens team in Asia, a top three finish in the final leg at Racecourse is a minimum requirement.
Currently the rankings stand;
|02||Hong Kong||20 Points|
|04||Sri Lanka||12 Points|
|06||South Korea||09 Points|
|07||Chinese Taipei||06 Points|
This is the first time in nearly 4 years that Sri Lanka are not amongst the top three. Players like Srinath Sooriyabandara and Sudarshana Muthuthanthri will have to lead from the front whilst the whole team will have to improve on their fitness level.
On the other hand, though the Women’s team was shaky at the start of the second leg, they managed to win the Plate yet again, retaining their position as the 5th best Women’s team in Asia.
After a thrilling 15 – 10 victory at extra-time in the Plate semi-final against Singapore, Sri Lanka went on to beat Thailand 22 – 5 in the final. Dulani Pallikondage proved to be the difference between Sri Lanka dropping down and holding on after her hat-trick saved the ladies from embarrassment.
The Sri Lankan Women came into the tournament in 6th place after last year’s series, but has now climbed one step up the ladder. If the team manages to secure a position in the top three in the third and final leg here at home, the ladies will surely be able to lift Sri Lanka up to 4th in Asia.
The Women’s Rankings is as follows;
The third and final leg will be played on the 13th and 14th of October at the Colombo Racecourse grounds.
Stay logged to ThePapare.com for the live and exclusive coverage of the tournament