CR & FC win the League after 1998

Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24

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CR & FC 33 (5T 1C 2P) defeated Kandy Sports Club 25 (3T 2C 2P) at Longdon Place in the league final, winning the Club Rugby League 2023/24 after a lapse of 26 years.

An intense game was expected at Longdon Place as the equation was straightforward, but the odds favoured the Home side.

Gemunu Chethiya Returned to the CR run on XV as Kandy opted to utilise Srinath Sooriyabandara at half-back and Suranga Thennakoon at full-back.

Chathura Seneviratne slotted home from beside the posts, 9 minutes into the game as both teams settled down after an early arm wrestle. (CR 03-00 KSC)

Tarinda Ratwatta levelled things before Lasitha Attanagoda scored from close range to silence the Home crowd.

Tarinda converted and went on to add his side’s 2nd penalty of the evening, setting the cat amongst the pigeons at the Home of Rugby!

Seneviratne pulled 3 points back from the Hosts as they went into lemons with a 7-point deficit.

Half Time: CR & FC 6 (2P) trail Kandy SC 13 (1T 1C 2P)

The second half was action-packed, with the Home team scoring 5 tries in reply to the Visitors 2-tries!

Adeesha Weerathunga scored the opener for CR as the lead changed hands after Seneviratne’s conversion.

Tarinda scored a try of his own, spotting a yawning gap in the CR defence, as Kandy restored parity between the sides. (CR 13-18 KSC)

Former Josephian Raveen De Silva scored near the left corner post before Black Knight Player of the Match Zubair Doray set up another Josephian Gemunu Chethiya in sublime fashion off a crosskick, putting a bit of daylight between the sides. (CR 23-18 KSC) 

With things heating up in the centre, the fresh legs of Dhanushka Ranjan helped Kandy with a try as the CR backline defence was breached once again.

Randy Silva made up for his error in defence, scoring on the same left-hand corner post, putting the Home team in the lead yet again, as punches were traded with neither team knocking each other out.

With the game in the 75th minute, Lasindu Karunathilake pounced on an opportunity, breaking off the tail of a maul, to score the hosts 5th try, putting a seal on the game and ending Kandy’s dynasty, helping the Longdon Place Club to their first title since 1998.

Full Time: CR & FC 33 (5T 1C 2P) defeated Kandy SC 25 (3T 2C 2P)

Black Knight Player of the Match: Zubair Doray (CR #15)