CR & FC pulled off a commendable 22(3T,2C,1P) – 12(2T,1C) win over a subdued Police SC outfit in their Dialog Rugby League 2015/16 week four encounter at Police Park on Saturday evening.
After a disappointing fixture last week against Kandy SC, the Policemen were determined to turn things around on a perfect evening for open rugby as Rizah Mubarak who shifted back to number 15 kicked-off the game. He missed an easy penalty early on when the CR defensive line was penalized for being off-side.
In the starting line-ups, CR & FC had two brothers, Kokila Samandapperuma and Shane Samandapperuma in the front-row while De Costa brothers, Kavindu and Ashan was the half-back pairing. Former Trinitian Rehan Weerakoon turned out for the Cops at number 10 position for the first-time this season.
After 15 minutes of ding-dong battle, marauding Police no.8 Bilal Hassan scored his 7th try for the season when he was in the back of a well-constructed rolling maul which was unstoppable from a 7-meter line-out near the left flank. Riza made no mistakes with the conversion.
(Police 07 – CR 00)
Nippy and intelligent CR & FC half-back Kavindu De Costa spotted the poor placing of the Police back three in the 22nd minute to put a nice box kick which was not well-covered by Rizah as Kanchana Ramanayake chased and collected from the grasp of Mubrak’s hands to score the first CR try. Kanchana converted his own try to level the scores. (Police 07 – CR 07)
When the game clock turned 33 minutes, Bilal Hassen made a carbon copy of his first try but this time from the other side of the field as the Police line-out proved out to be deadly for the visitors. Mubarak failed to add extra points. (Police 12 – CR 07)
With only 5 minutes to the lemons, Police second-row Joel Perera was sent to the ‘Naughty Chair’ for coming in from the side. With the one-man advantage, CR & FC managed to take the lead just before the half-time whistle when a superb link-up play by their speedy three-quarters gave Rochana Hettiarachchi enough space to touch down in the left-corner. Kanchana converted excellently as an entertaining first-half came to an end.
Half-Time: Police SC 12 – CR & FC 14
After the break, Ashan De Costa restarted the game. CR & FC was on the ascendency as their backs continued to test the Police defense. After 10 minutes of play in the second half, CR won a penalty from a 5-meter scrum and their number 8 Arun Kumar was quick to react and make a quick-tap to barge over for a superb try which put the hosts’ into more misery. Kanchana missed a straight-forward conversion. (Police 12 – CR 19)
Experienced Achala Perera was sin-binned for a high-tackle as the Cops were slowly and steadily getting frustrated due to the less possession and territory for them in the second half.
As the game entered the final quarter, CR & FC center cum place-kicker, Kanchana Ramanayake attempted a long 48-meter penalty kick after the Policemen were infringed for off-side play but the kick did not have enough distance.
The Police blind-side flanker Shanaka Harischandra received a yellow card in the 63rd minute for continuous foul-play and the visitors gladly pounced on the opportunity to extend their lead to 10 points as Ramanayake slotted over a 15-meter penalty. (Police 12 – CR 22)
None of the players played to their best in the final quarter as the intense and strength were missing while the fast & expansive style of rugby was also never seen in the final few minutes even though both teams injected fresh legs from the bench.
In the 77th minute, experienced Mohommad Sheriff was sent to the ‘Sin-Bin’ for a uppercut on CR center Amila Bandara while the CR & FC replacement scrum-half Dilan Soysa received a yellow-card in the final move of the match as the hosts’ were unable to put any points on the board in the final 40 minutes.
Full-Time: CR & FC 22(3T,2C,1P) – Police SC 12(2T,1C)
Referee – Dinka Peiris
ThePapare Man of the Match – Bilal Hassen
After the game, CR & FC skipper Ishan Noor gave his thoughts exclusively to ThePapare.com,
“ I’m really happy that we played as a team and won the game but bit disappointed that we could not go for the 4th try.“
CR & FC – Kanchana Ramanayake 12 points (1 try, 2 conversions, 1 penalty), Arun Kumar 5 points (1 try), Rochana Hettiarachchi 5 points (1 try)
Police SC – Bilal Hassen 10 points (2 tries), Rizah Mubarak 2 points (1 conversion)