Niroshan Fernando and his men in pink out played the CR lads at Longdon Place earlier today, much to the credit of the Havelock forwards. The scores read 21 points to 5 at half time in favour of the visitors who managed to end the game 31 – 22 securing a bonus point victory remaining unbeaten going into the 6th week.
Tarinda Ratwatte kick started the game from right to left hoping his side would prevail in this year’s edition of the ‘Mathysz Trophy’ in the first round of the Dialog Rugby League. But, things did not favour the home team as Dinuk Amarasinghe got things off to a hot start 8 minutes into the game, creating Havelock’s first try, after letting out a silky backhand offload to Chamara Dabare who dove over the whitewash, opening the scoring. Rizah Mubarak made no mistake adding the extra two. (CR 0 – 7 HSC)
It was a one sided battle all the way down until the 35th min when CR scored their first try through Rahul De Silva who snuck through the defense after receiving Omalka’s offload. Havelock got everything spot on! It was clear that they were playing according to their strengths and that was from the set pieces. As a result, both prop forwards, Dushmantha Priyadarshana and Listan Flatny got their names on the score sheet after scoring two fabulous tries. Especially Flatny, who scored like a back, stepping and dummying after peeling from the defense and sprinting 20 meters. Although Ratwatte missed his conversion, Mubarak continued his success adding the extra two’s putting Havelock in a comfortable position at half-time.
Half Time: CR trailing 5 – 21 HSC
However, as play resumed – Ratwatte put the visitors under immediate pressure after recollecting the ball from his kick and dashing straight under the post. He made no mistake with his kick this time around as CR closed in on the Havies. Thereon, opportunities came CR’s way, but the lackluster performance in both lineouts and scrums, let them down. Capitalizing on that, Havies made sure they troubled the CR forwards and made every set piece count. It worked like magic! Dushmantha Priyadarshana scored his second try of the game after shoving the red shirts in a scrum, picking the ball back up and diving over. (CR 12 – 25 HSC)
As CR were forced to take quick taps and up the tempo of the game, momentum began swinging their way. They finally realized their mistake of playing too close and too slow and was awarded with many penalties and turn overs. Rewarding themselves from that, a three pointer from Ratwatte and a try by Gayan Dilshan put the Reds back in the game with under 15 minutes of play. But unfortunately for them, the second Vimukthi Rahula caught the CR defense napping it was all over. After he chipped the ball from the back of a ruck in the 5m, all Dabare had to do was get there first and jot the ball down – which he did successfully beating Kavindu Perera inside the try line. Although Mubarak missed the kick, Havies managed to win the game with a bonus point.
Full Time: CR lost 22 – 31 HSC
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR CR?
First up it was their poor lineouts that caused them way too much damage which was unacceptable. Secondly, the shuffling between Chanaka Chandimal at fly-half and Tarinda Ratwatte at Centre was a failed experiment – why? Because Ratwatte is more of a distributor than a ‘crash and offload’ type of player.
Another reason for their defeat was the fact that they had no control over the game. Although it looked like CR were building momentum, all of it crumbled down after three to four phases. Not knowing when to up the tempo and show that sense of urgency is another main aspect CR will have to look into.
WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR HAVIES?
Starting from their lineouts to their strong and steady scrums, Havelock were rocking the set pieces. Playing to their strengths was what they did best. Players like Dinuk Amarasinghe and Vimukthi Rahula had good control over the game – They knew when to pass and when to go into contact. Especially Rahula, he managed his forwards well and played the game to his pace.
Stealing 5 lineouts isn’t easy, but they did it and made it look so simple!
- Referee: Priyantha Percy Gunarathna
- Player of the Match: Dushmantha Priyadarshana (HSC)
Score Breakdown CR:
Tries – Rahul De Silva, Tarinda Ratwatte, Gayan Dilshan
Conversions – Tarinda Ratwatte 2
Penalties – Tarinda Ratwatte 1
Bookings – Gayan Dilshan, Shehan Diaz
Score Breakdown HSC:
Tries – Chamara Dabare 2, Dushmantha Priyadarshana 2, Listan Flatny
Conversions – Rizah Mubarak 3
Bookings – Vimukthi Rahula