Kandy thump Havies; Sailors make a thrilling comeback against Air Force

Nippon Paint Rugby League 2022/23


The last week of Round 1 in the Nippon Paint Rugby League 2023 came to an end on Sunday (29). Kandy SC stamped their authority over archrivals Havies while Navy SC and CR&FC secured spots in the Cup Super Round.

Kandy SC v Havelocks SC

Full time: 35 – 15 

Defending Champions and unbeaten Kandy SC dominated their arch rivals with a thumping bonus point win by 35-15 to finish Round 1.

Kandy set the tone inside the first five minutes, scoring their first try in the 3rd minute. Kandy’s backline was strengthened with Srinath Sooriyabandara switching to fullback. The backline pounced on a rather out of sorts Havies defense. The first three tries were scored by Tharinda Ratwatte, Sooriyabandara and Thilina Bandara.

Havies only managed a solitary penalty in the first half but they needed a strong start in the second half. However, their chances were further dampened when Ratwatte crossed the whitewash for his second of the evening.

Havies finally found their first try in the 50th minute through Shehan Dias and they followed it up with their second through Dinupa Senevirathne. Despite playing with 14 during most parts of the game, Kandy held on to take the win comfortably.

CR&FC v Army SC

Full Time: 22 – 18

CR&FC maintained their second place in the table beating Army SC by 22 points to 18 at Longdon Place on Sunday.

The Reds were brimming with confidence as they started off with two converted tries within the first half hour. Raveen de Silva opened the scoring with the first try while former Isipathana skipper Manilka Ruberu scored the second. The Soldiers managed to score their first through Sudaraka Dikkumbura before the break.

The Soldiers had the upper hand at the start of the second half, but they only managed two penalties while CR&FC scored their third try through Kalindu Nandilu. The visitors fought hard until the final whistle but could only manage a consolation try through Dikkumbura to secure a losing bonus point.

Navy SC v Air Force SC

Full time: 32 – 31 

By far the best comeback of the season took place on Friday at Welisara. The Sailors were trailing 3 points to 17 at the break, with a couple of converted tries from Parakrama Ratnayake and a penalty from Nuwan Perera giving Air Force the lead.

The second half started off with Janith Laksara scoring first try for the hosts. A couple of tries followed for the Airmen through Nilantha Jayaweera and Mewan Rewaka. Trailing by 21 points, the hosts came storming back, scoring three tries within the last 12 minutes through Stephan Gregory, Mushin Faleel and Nirosh Perera, to snatch a 1-point win.

Police SC v CH&FC

Full time: 27 – 22 

Police SC registered back to back wins, beating CH&FC by 27-22 at Police Park on Saturday. It was 10-9 in favor of the hosts at the break.

In the whole game, CH&FC only managed one try through Prasath Madushanka while Hirusha Sampath scored the rest of the points from his boot.