Chanaka Chandimal of Navy kicked off the game on a rainy evening at the Police Park grounds.
Navy SC scored the first try of the 2016/17 season as Scrum Half Richie Dharmapala found Lock Forward Sathya Ranathunga who touched down right next to the goal posts. Fullback Thilina Weerasinghe converted successfully to add the extras as Navy drew 1st blood. Police 00-07 Navy
Police hit back straight off the restart to put the game back in the balance. A knock-on by Navy off the restart helped the Cop’s cause as two passes later Captain Udara Suriyapperuma found himself on the Wing and crashed over for Police’s 1st try. Fullback Rajitha Sandony failed to convert, helping Navy retain a slender 2 point lead. Police 05-07 Navy
With the heavy rains, handling the ball became a real issue and things got scrappy in the middle.
The next points of the game came as a horrible pass to Fly-half Sandesh Jayawickrama was knocked on and Lee Keegal’s instincts helped him out as he toed the ball through and dived over for the Sailor’s second try beside the uprights. Thilina Weerasinghe continued his dominant kicking as he put the conversion over to drag Navy further ahead. Police 05-14 Navy
A scrappy first 40 drew to a close with opposition Full-back Rajitha Sansony getting his 1st points via a penalty as Navy were penalized at the break down.
HT: Police 08 (1T 1P) – Navy 14 (2T 2C)
Police kicked off the second half with ground to make up on the visitors. Minutes into the second half Lee Keegal scored in the near corner but an intervention from TMO saw his try ruled out as there seemed to be a knock on at the breakdown.
Police SC (1T 1P) 08 : 29 (4T 3C 1P) Navy SC – Dialog Rugby League 2016/17
Winger and talisman Dinush Chathuranga then saw yellow for a late charge in the 44th minute to add insult to injury for Navy.
Navy did not let the situation get the better out of them as they punished an infringement at the breakdown by Police to add the next points in the game. Police 08-17 Navy
Lack of discipline saw Police fall further behind in the game. A penalty kicked into the corner, and a routine line out and 7 phases later bulky Hooker Dulanjana Wijesinghe found himself diving over for the visitor’s third try in the game. Fullback Weerasinghe had no trouble with the conversion, taking Navy 16 points clear of the hosts. Police 08-24 Navy
Fly-half Chanaka Chandimal then added the icing on the cake as he made Police and Mohamed Abzal pay for a silly kick pass. Richie Dharmapala returned the kick into space at the back and a pass later Chanaka Chandimal cut inside on his left foot and calved his way through to score in the far corner. Weerasinghe made a rare miss kicking from the touchline but Navy were all but clear by this point. Police 08-29 Navy
The day went from bad to worse as Police Full-back saw yellow for a cynical penalty and spent the last five minutes in the sin bin as the game drew to a close in bad weather conditions.
Full time: Navy 29 (4T 3C 1P) beat Police 08 (1T 1P)
Navy coach Mothilal Jayathilake expressed his views following the match, saying, “I am very happy with the lads’ performances, today we played with a wet ball yet we had majority of the possession and territory and it was pleasing to see”. He did go on to say that the kicking and the break down play could do with some improvement.
Score breakdown :
Sathya Ranathunga, Lee Keegal, Dulanjana Wijesinghe, Chanaka Chandimal
Thilina Weerasinghe – 3 Conversions, 1 Penalty
Rajitha Sansony – 1 Penalty
WATCH THE HIGHLIGHTS: Navy SC taking on Police SC in the Dialog Rugby League 2016/17 opener