Kandy Sports Club concluded their 2016 ‘Dialog Rugby league’ title run on a glorious note this evening as they went on to reincarnate their unbeaten record as the defending champions took the title toppling runners-up Havelock Sports Club 27-12 at Nittawela this evening.

The ‘Dialog Rugby League’ that spanned 14 long weeks concluded this evening and from the outset Kandy looked to be prospective contenders for the championship. Last week’s win against the Sailors at Welisara guaranteed them the league title and todays win earned them the unbeaten tag.

Kandy crowned undisputed Dialog Rugby League championsKandy opted to take advantage of their big forwards in the first few minutes of play when they got themselves a 5-meter line out, it was Buweneka Udangamuwa who touched down for the first try of the day from the back of the maul (5-0). Ratwatte failed in converting the 44m conversion but it was the start the home club needed.

With Kandy’s forwards showing what they were capable of, the Havies pack stepped up to challenge, as Sudarshana Muthuthanthri danced his way through the Kandy defenders and stand in skipper Dushmantha Priyadarshana sidestepped two more players to bring in the equalizer. Rimzie Jamaldeen failed to add the extras (5-5).

 Photo Album – Kandy SC vs Havelock SC (Dialog Rugby League 2015/16) 

Kandy got their next attacking opportunity when referee Rankothge sent Hirantha Perera for the sin-bin. Havies being a man short could not close down the gaps out wide and quick hands from Roshan Weeraratna from the base of the ruck sent Richard Dharmapala through the gap to score the second try of the day (10-5). Ratwatte struggling with the boot failed to add the points once again.

Half time: Kandy SC 10 – 5 Havelock SC

With the game still in the balance, Kandy had to hold out another 40 minutes to be earn the ever elusive unbeaten tag. Ten minutes into the second half, it was Vishwamithra Jayasinghe showcased some delightful skills and pace at Nittawela as he covered almost 60 meters on the right wing side stepping almost five players to score. The Jayasinghe try was not converted, but within 5 minutes the fans something big to celebrate. Nigel Ratwatte gathered a chip kick by Havies and raced his way to the goal line. This try shocked the visitors and Kandy were suddenly fifteen points ahead. (20-5)

Kandy crowned undisputed Dialog Rugby League championsHavelocks however scored a consolation try off the efforts of a Hirantha Perera offload which found Kevin Dixon who scored. Unfortunately for the park club it didn’t seem enough to change the inevitable (20-12). Kandy added insult to injury with their final try of the 2016 Dialog Rugby league as Thilina Wijesinghe who took the field in the final few minutes and sprinted through to the goal line unencumbered by defenders. As Ratwatte finally knocked over the under the post conversion, Kandy had themselves 27 points and with time running out, Kandy had their dream run completed.

The Dialog Rugby League crown that was won back by skipper Sean Wijesinghe and his lads last year will stay in the hill capital for another year while Sean Wijesinghe has himself his first league title as coach.

With this win, the hill country club has two of the three prizes on offer having won the Dialog Sevens title earlier last year. Group CEO Dialog Axiata Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya presented the league title at the post game presentation ceremony.

ThePapare.com’s Man of the Match: Richard Dharmapala

Score breakdown:

Kandy SC: 27 – 5T 1C

Tries by Buweneka Udangamuwa, Nigel Ratwatte, Richard Dharmapala, Vishvamithra Jayasinghe, Thilina Wijesinghe & Conversion by Nigel Ratwatte

Havelock SC: 12 – 2T 1C

Tries by Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Kevin Dixon & Conversion by Rimzie Jamaldeen