It was a barrage of tries at Nittawela with the defending champions running riot against an immature CH & FC team scoring 14 tries and winning the game 80-3.
The Dialog Rugby League travelled to the hill country this evening for the final game of the first week where the league favorites walked on to the field for the first time. It was truly a baptism with fire for CH & FC who just got their finalized playing squad were in the process of establishing team chemistry and were not equipped to face the monstrous Kandyan challenge.
When CH & FC’s Janith Chanaka drew first blood for the team off a 35-meter penalty kick, the game to the outside looked to be a competitive clash. But it was just a blimp to what was to come. Moving forward right from the restart was Kandy, gaining meters through their tactical kicking as Heshan Kalhara went over for two back to back tries seeing the opportunity in the inexperienced CH forwards.
Marking gaps and running sprints had always been the traits of the three-quarters but today’s encounter defied stereotype with the Kandy’s front row breaking into sprints. Kandy’s Hooker Damith Dissanayaka showcased that he is as good as a wing-three when he covered over 40 meters to score the third try for the day right under the posts. Minutes later he staged a repeat of his act, this time scoring off a 10-meter penalty (24-0).
Kandy became the fastest team to receive the bonus point for scoring four tries that came within the first 20 minutes and speeding gameplay was the in-form Gayan Weeraratne who scored the next two tries for the team. Both of these tries came through the efforts of Kandy’s set-pieces and Gayan Weeraratne with his international exposure in the sevens format did the closing honors. (34-03)
With Fazil Marija stepping up scored the next for the team off an offload of Kishore Jehan. Kandy was getting the tries on board but were failing to get the additional two pointers. It was interesting to see Kandy giving kicking duties to Roshan Weeraratne who was not having a good time with his boots missing out 3 out of the 6 conversions forcing Kandy to bring in Nigel Ratwatte to continue the kicking. Ratwatte was spot on in the Marija try and added the two extras.
Just before lemons it was Kandy’s Kishore Jehan who kept the crowd on the edge of their seats with an exhilarating run through the defense covering almost 40 meters before he offloaded to Roshan Weeraratne to score the seventh as Kandy went in half time with scores reading 46-3.
Half Time: Kandy 46 (8T 3C) – CH & FC 3 (1P)
Kandy took control of the game right from the beginning as Lavanga Perera scored in the very first minute of the second half. Kandy brought in their replacements from the bench allowing them to get some game time but tries didn’t seem to stop coming.
Tries came in from the efforts of Nigel Ratwatte, Thilina Wijesinghe, Lavanga Perera & Gayan Ratnayaka with Kandy taking the advantage in fitness. Kandy resumed progress on fast moving rhythm even in their breakdowns; something CH & FC didn’t see coming.
Kandy’s Kishore Jehan put in the finishing touches for this fixture collecting a dummy from Srinath Sooriyabandara as Kandy collected a wholesome 80 points. CH’s efforts to infiltrate the Kandy territory failed during the entire 80 minutes of play as lack of preparation and coordination proved to be costing the Gymkhana club heavily.
Kandy would still need to go back to the board to look into the cardinal errors they committed throughout the game and try working back on them. The poor kicking success will be something assistant coach Nalaka Weerakkody will be looking into as Kandy were only able to convert 5 of the 14 tries they scored which is only 35%. They wouldn’t need to worry on the problem too much since they are equipped with plentiful options to look out to.
ThePapare.com picks Kishore Jehan as the Player of the Match for his efforts during play and also for scoring the final try of the day.
Full time score: Kandy 80 (14T 5C) CH & FC (1P)
Score breakdown :
Kandy : Gayan Weeraratne (2), Heshan Kalhara (2), Damith Dissanayaka (2), Fazil Marija, Nigel Ratwatte, Roshan Weeraratne, Lavanga Perera (2), Thilina Wijesinghe, Gayan Ratnayake, Kishore Jehan
Conversions : Roshan Weeraratne (2), Nigel Ratwatte, Arshad Jamaldeen (2)
CH & FC : Penalty by Janith Chandimal