Kandy hold on to beat CH & FC

Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24

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Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24

Defending League Champs Kandy Sports Club commenced their league defence with a close win over CH & FC 22 points to 13 in their Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24 opening week encounter worked off at Nittawela.

>>Havelocks in Seventh Heaven in Season opener

Hirusha Sampath kick-started the game, and just 90 seconds later, he had the opportunity to score through a penalty, but the kick went astray. Kandy forwards pilled on some strong carries but couldn’t go past the CH defence, but Thilina Bandara charged down a clearance kick from Hirusha Sampath and collected a loose ball to score the opening try for the home side. (KANDY 05 – 00 CH)

Kandy dominated possession and territory but couldn’t add any points, but CH finally got rewarded for their defensive work through a Hirusha Sampath penalty. Kandy bounced back immediately as their backs broke through CH’s defence and quick hands from Jason Dissanayake and Heshan Jansen managed to send Nigel Ratwatte into the right corner. Tharinda Ratwatte added the extras from a difficult angle to increase the lead. (KANDY 12 – 03 CH)

>>One-way traffic at Panagoda

Just before the break, Kandy managed to add more points to their tally when Dinal Ekanayake made inroads, going past a few defenders and was finally brought down near the five-meter line. CH made a turnover, but try scorer Thilina Bandara managed to turnover the ball again for Kandy, and he sneaked through the frustrated CH defenders to score his second.

Half Time: Kandy SC 17 (3T,1C) – CH & FC 03 (1P)

Defending champions got off to a strong start in the second half, exerting pressure on CH in the opening exchanges when Thilina Bandara made a long cut-off pass to Dinal Ekanayake as he went past three CH defenders to bring play inches close to the try line and Nigel Ratwatte collected the ball and powered himself over to score his second as well as the bonus point try for Kandy. (KANDY 22 – 03 CH)

>>Electric first half show by the Cops trump the Sailors

Kandy was down to fourteen when Nigel Ratwatte was shown yellow for a high tackle and CH exploited the extra space from a set-piece scrum as the replacement flyhalf Dinesh De Silva sent his skipper Avantha Lee over the line for the first try. Sampath added the extras from the kicking tee, and a few phases later, Sampath stroked over his second penalty to cut the deficit to nine points. (KANDY 22 – 13 CH)

CH dominated possession in the game’s dying stages, but Kandy’s defence was solid to close down the game.

>>Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24 set to Kick-off

Full Time: Kandy SC 22 (4T,1C) – CH & FC 13 (1T,1C,1P)

Black Knight Player of the Match: Thilina Bandara (Kandy SC)

Points Breakdown

Kandy SC: 22

Tries: Thilina Bandara(2), Nigel Ratwatte(2), Con: Tharinda Ratwatte

CH & FC: 13                            

Try: Avantha Lee, Con: Hirusha Sampath ;Pens: Hirusha Sampath (2)