One-way traffic at Panagoda

Nippon Paints Club Rugby League 2023/24

Photos – Army SC vs CR & FC | Nippon Paint Rugby League 2023/24

CR&FC got the campaign off to a rollicking start in the league opener by handing over a fifty-five-point drubbing to Army SC at Panagoda today, in the Nippon Paint Club Rugby League 2023/24. 

CR&FC 55 (8T, 6C, 1P)–8 (1T, 1P)  

Army defense stood firm against the red’s onslaught for 14 minutes before the floodgates were opened by Lasidu Karunathilake, who went over for the first try from a nicely worked move by the forwards. However, before that, Thenuka Nanayakkare opened the account with a penalty in the 8th minute about 37 meters out after missing out on a much easier one around 30 meters out just a couple of minutes earlier. 

Chemod Muthunayaka went over the whitewash for the second try a minute later, and all it took was another 3 more minutes for CR&FC to go over once again, this time through a nicely worked-off move by Adeesha Weerathunga, who broke Army defense and powered his way for a try (the try of the match) and showed outstanding skills in the breakdowns, earning him the Player of the Match award. 

>>> Photos – Army SC vs CR & FC | Nippon Paint Rugby League 2023/24

It was one-way traffic from that moment onwards, and CR&FC never looked back as they scored two more tries, both by Thenuka Nanayakkara in the 25th and 38th minutes respectively in the first half, to put the game beyond the soldiers. 

Army, with a kick off the tee in the 37th minute, got first points on the board to end the half with CR&FC a country mile ahead, 36-3. 

Halftime: CR&FC 36 (5T, 4C, 1P) leads Army 3 (1P). 

The redshirts show no mercy right from the beginning of the second half. The first to go over was Shenal Adikaram in the 42nd minute, followed by Skipper Suhiru Anthony in the 60th minute, and right before the long whistle replacement, halfback Yasas Kavindu scored a try to the left corner and nicely converted to put an end to the Army’s agony. 

Meanwhile Army just managed to score a solitary try in the 55th minute through Mohomed Akram, who worked very hard, while CR&FC were reduced to 14 men as a result of a yellow card for recklessness-play given to Shehan Kelaniyagoda. The Army got close within 5 meters several times during this period but were not clinical enough to finish off the moves with a score. 

After a lackluster season opener, the Army was made to do some serious soul-searching and work even harder under the watchful eye of new Coach Shamly Nawaz before taking on the defending champions next week at Panagoda. 

CR&FC stamped their authority right throughout the game except for a few iffy moments, and already made the statement that this time they are ready to go one step further, which they were unable to manage in the previous league season. 

Fulltime: CR&FC 55 (8T, 6C, 1P) Army 08 (1T, 1P) 

  • Black Knight Player of the Match : Adeesha Weerathunga (CR&FC)  

Points Breakdown: 

  • CR&FC: Thenuka Nanayakkara 2T 5C 1P, Yasas Kavindu 1T 1C, Lasindu Karunathilake 1T, Chemod Muthunayake 1T, Adeesha Weeratunga 1T, Shenal Adikaram 1T, Suhiru Anthony 1T, 
  • Army SC: Mohomed Akram 1T, Chamath Fernando 1P 

CR&FC will take on Police SC at Police Park and Army to play the defending champions Kandy at Panagoda next Saturday.