The Sunday Leader

Havies, Navy, Kandy SC Maintain Winning Ways, Air Force Face Heartburn After Maiden Win

  • Dialog Rugby League – Review

The top three teams in the league table – Kandy SC, Navy SC and Havelocks – all maintained their winning trend in last week games against Police SC, Army SC and CR & FC respectively while Air Force registered their maiden win of the season when they crushed Hambantota Sharks only to have the result subsequently annulled following the withdrawal of the Sharks team from the tournament.

Kandy vs Police SC

The game did not live upto the pre-match hype with the Police SC team being strangely off colour
And ultimately being swept aside 37-3 by the powerful Kandy side who were fresh after another hard fought battle the previous week against the touring Sydney side Warringah SC.

The game turned into a battle between Apisai Nagaliva and Kandy and where Apisai did not have much backing from his team mates the story was different for Kandy who had Christopher Cloete returning to the side after a two-week break and good support from the likes of national stars Fazil Marija, Gayan Weerarathne, Nigel Ratwatte and Lavanga Perera .

The first half was fairly well balanced although the Police failed to put the finishing touches to their moves and it was a careless bit of play by their new foreign signing Lyon which enabled Kandy SC to speed ahead.

After going into the break with a 15-3 lead Kandy were given a gift in the first minutes of the second half when Lyon tossed a pass in the air and Perera was quick to intercept and run through to score under the posts.

Havelocks vs CR & FC
Havelocks gained sweet revenge on their traditional rivals CR & FC when they edged to a close 21-19 win in their second round game played under lights at Havelock Park. However CR & FC clinched the Col Mathysz trophy by virtue of a higher aggregate in the two matches.

The fare dished out by the two sides was very scrappy in the first half and all the scoring was done through penalties with Havies taking a 6-3 lead at half time.

After the resumption, the tempo increased as both sides seemed to have suddenly awakened and were running the ball at every opportunity. CR scored two tries in quick succession to which the home team responded with a try of their own. A penalty to CR then put the scores at 16-11 as the game entered the last quarter.

Havies were awarded a penalty and instead of going for the safe penalty attempt which would have given the hosts three points, skipper Muthuthantri opted for a scrum and the heavier Havies pack was able to score the try they were after. The conversion put Havies ahead 18-16 but CR was not done yet and responded with a penalty to snatch a one point lead 19-18.

The last act of the match was a penalty to the home team which Dulaj Perera converted to spark the celebrations at the Park. Havies 21 CR 19.

Navy vs Army
For the second time this season the Navy SC vs Army rugby clash which promised to be a blockbuster turned out to be a damp squib with the Army SC team being blown away 43-8.
It is almost unbelievable to see this sort of tactic adopted in local club rugby where for the second time this season the Navy not only had an easy win but were able to register vital bonus points to keep them in the hunt for the league title.

It is impossible to put down the Army’s performance as just inconsistency – they are too good a side to get brushed aside so easily. After their great performance against CR & FC last time out they were expected to challenge Navy all the way and put up a much better show.

Air Force vs Sharks
Air Force finally registered their maiden win this season with a 68-15 win over the Sharks but their joy soon turned to heartache as the Sharks together with the CH & FC withdrew from the league tournament and all points scored against the two teams in the second round were annulled.

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