CH&FC hosted CR&FC at the second leg of the Maitland Derby at Racecourse, in the week 09 clash of Nippon Paint Rugby League 2023/2024 on 11th February 2024. The hosts fell short of winning the game as CR&FC pulled up a dominant performance to clinch the victory 32 – 12 points. The Reds entered this game as the only unbeaten team in the tournament.
The weather condition was perfect for this age-old rivalry between the two teams at Racecourse to set up an epic battle as the hosts kicked things off in the game.
In less than 10 minutes of the game, both the teams had the chance to score the opening points of the game by putting through a penalty kick, but neither of them were successful: Hirusha from CH in the 2nd minute and Chathura from CR in the 7th minute.
A blocked kick by Manilka Ruberu was perfectly chased in the 11th minute which almost took them to score the first try of the game, but Rinesh Silva was tackled perfectly by the CH player. However, just after 2 minutes, the big Kingswoodian Iranga Ariayapala opened the account for the visitors by scoring from the left corner with the help of a smoothly worked line, and Chathura converted it perfectly.
(CHFC 00 – 07 CRFC)
Obstruction of theCH players led CR take things into their hands and they opted to go for touch. After a short breakthrough run from Kavindu Costa, Lasindu Karunathilaka entered the game to increase his tally of tries by scoring the second try of the game for the Reds in the 21st minute. With that, Lasindu scored his 7th try, which was followed up by a successful conversion by Manilka Ruberu.
(CHFC 00 – 14 CRFC)
A lovely spiral kick to touch from Rohitha Rajapaksha took CH&FC almost near the 22 mark of the other half. After a couple of strong pick and go’s from the hosts, the well-supported Prasath Madushanka went to score their first try of the game, breaking a few CR&FC tackles from the left far corner in the final play of the first half, but the followed on conversion was unsuccessful . Therefore, the Half Time score stood up at 05 -14 at the end of the first half. It was a massive disappointment for CH&FC as Hirusha Nethmina, one of the key players and the leading points scorers of the team, was carried out of the game on medical condition in the first half. Although the hosts had some huge powerful scrums to capitalize the game, CR did not let go of any loose chances as they scored every chance they got to get on top of CH&FC, ending the first half.
CHFC 05 – 14 CRFC)
Half Time: CR & FC 14 (2T 2C) lead CH & FC 05 (1T)
CH&FC started the second half by giving a penalty away, where Gihan Madushanka’s knocked on ball hit Rajapaksha as he was being the offside player. This led the Reds to go for a kick to goal option to get more points on the board, where Senevirathna did it successfully. (CHFC 05 – 17 CRFC)
Just after a minute and a half, Nirosh Perera the Lock chose to close up the gap for the hosts as he scored their second try of the game right under the post, where the replacement Maleesha Perera converted it successfully. (CHFC 12 – 17 CRFC)
Line offside cost another 3 points to the hosts as the visitors opted to go for a penalty kick. Chathura Senevirathna made no mistake putting the ball through the posts as he increased the lead yet again in the 48th minute of the game. (CHFC 12 – 20 CRFC)
Lasindu came into action again by scoring his second try of the game in the 64th minute, tallying the leading try scorer table as being the joint tabletop. It all started with the breakthrough run by Chathura Senevirathna from the right corner, and the Reds managed to work the line perfectly to score the try from the other end. Manilka Ruberu made no mistake converting the conversion. (CHFC 12 – 27 CRFC)
Only 4 minutes after the previous try, the golden boy scored his hat-trick of the game, putting up a fabulous performance in the 68th minute after being supported from a powerful driving maul. This lifted him as the highest try scorer of the season and with this try, the Reds were able to get the bonus point. Conversion was unsuccessful.
(CHFC 12 – 32 CRFC)
In the last few minutes of the game, CH just fell short to score as the ball was help up over the try line, and that was the final play of the game, bringing up the victory to CR&FC at racecourse. The visitors clinched the victory of the Maitland Derby by beating CH&FC 32 to 12 points.
There was no doubt in determining the Man of the Match as it was the one and only Lasindu Ishan Karunathilake, the hat-trick boy of the game who pulled up a mammoth performance to bring the victory celebrations to Longdon Place. CR&FC will take things into the final week as they will face Kandy SC at Longdon Place next week.
Full Time: CR & FC 32 (4T 3C 2P) beat CH & FC 12 (2T 1C)
Black Knight Player of the Match: Lasindu Karunathilake (NO 08)
CR & FC: Lasindu Karunathilake 3T, Iranga Ariyapala 1T, Manelka Ruberu 2C, Chathura Senevirathna 1C 2P
CH & FC: Prasanth Madusanka 1T, Nirosh Perera 1T, Maleesha Perera 1C