Despite Danushka Ranjan opening Sri Lanka’s scoring in the very first minute for the third consecutive time at the Commonwealth Games, the Tuskers ended up losing 33-12 in their final group stage game against Uganda marking an exit to their campaign for 2018.
The Tuskers looked very unsettled in their final game but breaking the deadlock was Danushka Ranjan in the first few minutes with a signature side step, to score the first.
Uganda soon consolidated with a goal and a try and towards the last few minutes of play, the Tuskers were opting to hold on to possession and wait for the opportunity to come. The effort did materialize in the dying stages when Danushka Ranjan found himself within try scoring contention to cut the deficit to just 2 points at half time.
Despite the effort in the first half, the team will have only themselves to blame for their lackluster show in the second half as their opponents pondered on the errors that Sri Lanka committed.
Miscommunication at the restart and at the lineouts, coupled with a few handling errors cost Sri Lanka two tries and saw Uganda running away with a win as the game ended 33-12 at full time.
With this loss, Sri Lanka will conclude their campaign at the Gold Coast games, with the new tournament structure not accommodating a play-off for the last placed team in the group in contrast to the earlier games.
Full time score: Uganda 33 (5T 4C) to Sri Lanka 12 (2T 1C) Tries by Danushka Ranjan (2) conversion by Tarinda Ratwatte
Sri Lanka vs Wales
Danushka Ranjan’s magical touch continued as he brought in the first try for the Tuskers in the 2nd minute of play but Sri Lanka could not hold on the powerful Wales team as they lost their second game 42-12.
It was once again a perfect start for Sri Lanka with a converted try but the lead only lasted two minutes as Wales replied with 4 converted tries in the 1st half.
Sri Lanka were struggling to hold off the Welsh charge and in the second minute of the second half came the second try courtesy of the veteran Srinath Sooriyabandara. However, the try from Sooriyabandara didn’t seem to hinder the Welsh attack as they ended up amassing a total of 42 points with Ethan Davis coming up with a star performance.
Full time score: Wales 42 (6T 6C) to Sri Lanka 12 (2T 1C) Tries by Danushka Ranjan and Srinath Sooriyabandara
Sri Lanka vs Fiji
The spirited Tuskers, who took on the Olympic gold medalists in their opening game in the Gold Coast Olympic games, were halted in terms of physicality and speed as the Fijians won the game 63-5.
Sri Lanka’s Danushka Ranjan took the recently crowned Hong Kong Sevens winners by surprise, with a break on the right to score the first try of the game in the very first minute.
The English rugby sevens represent and former Sri Lanka national sevens coach….
Soon after the Ranjan try, Sri Lanka barely got possession as Fiji ran riot all around the park scoring with ease. Sri Lanka were slow in their breakdowns and with the big-made Fijian forwards in the contest, the ball was turned over on several occasions.
The extra time in the 1st half saw Danushka Ranjan creating an opportunity on wing outrunning two Fiji players but fell meters short owing to a Jerry Tuwai tackle.
The second half was nothing different and the Tuskers missed out a scoring opportunity when Richard Dharmapala knocked the ball on. Making his debut in the Commonwealth, Naveen Henakankanamage sprinted on the far corner drawing two players to create space for the Kandyan speedster but the effort didn’t materialize.
“Sri Lanka looked confident when they had ball in hand and they are sure of an upset” added sevens legend Ben Gollings on Sri Lanka’s performance against Fiji.
Full time score: Fiji 63 (9T 9C) to Sri Lanka (1T) – Danushka Ranjan