The Fazil Marija sans Kandy Sports Club went on to humiliate the Policemen at Nittawela winning the game 44-17 in the second round fixture of the Dialog Rugby League that was held last evening.
Full time score: Kandy 44 (7T 3C 1P) to Police 17 (1T 4P)
Some changes were in place for the Kandy side to the fill the void created by Marija’s injury as Nigel Ratwatte went on to take a new role as fly half and Danshaya Dayan moved back to the fullback position and Kandy looked settled as the Cops saw Henry Terance in the replacements alongside Rizah Mubarak in the #15 jersey.
The cops had the chance of creating the nightmare of the season as Mohamed Abzal got an early opportunity to creep through the Kandy defense in the very first minute but poor handling deprived them of that privilege. Counter-attacking, Nigel Ratwatte put numbers first up for the side off a 22 meter angled penalty.
Kandy executed one of their set pieces to score their first that came through Shehan Pathirana bolstering the break as he sent it out to Gayan Rathnayaka to score on the right side of the post. Danshaya Dayan followed up Kandy’s first try as he covered a good 50 meters before sending it wide to Gayan Weeraratna who crossed over for the try.
The third try for Kandy came in as a treat for the team as Richard Dharmapala who was acting as the scrum half at the breakdown saw the space opened up in the blind side sprinted his way to the try line. Getting adjusted to the position at fly half seemed to be pressurizing Ratwatte as he missed the three conversions. In reply to the three tries and penalty, Police were only able to get through three penalties off the boot of Rizah Mubarak. (18-9)
Half time Kandy 18 – Police 9
The second half started with a disaster for the Cops as Mushin Faleel was sent to the sin-bin for an alleged tackle in air to Nigel Ratwatte giving the hosts a scoring opportunity. Quick thinking by the skipper Roshan Weeraratna to go for the quick tap, saw Nigel Ratwatte scoring the first try in the second half near the posts that he later converted. (25-9)
Rizah Mubarak replied with another distant 45-meter penalty by Gayan Weeraratna’s inside pass onto Richard Dharmapala which had him sprinting his way through to the try line on the far right. Ratwatte sent the conversion through and it looked like Kandy had themselves their 10th win. (32-12)
Dharmapala went on to score his hat-trick of tries and was followed up by Danshaya Dayan who scored the penultimate try for the day taking Kandy up to 44 points. The only satisfaction that Police could gain was their consolation try scored by Mushin Faleel in the last ten minutes of play as referee Irshad Cader blew for full time.
Kandy had with them another comfortable win at home as the changes in the starting lineup prove to be an effective with the absence of Fazil Marija. Danshaya Dayan who moved back from wing-three pulled out a top class performance at full back while Nigel Ratwatte filled in the shoes of Marija.
The only worry for Kandy will be the injury of Lavanga Perera who twisted his ankle and had to be stretchered away during the second half of the game but with a strong bench, Kandy would not take it too seriously.
“We were accustomed to play with a new line up only for a week and with a week’s practice, I guess we have been able to fill in the gap left by our captain and I am pretty happy the way we worked as a team.” added Richard Dharmapala of Kandy who scored three tries in the game.
ThePapare.com’s Man of the Match : Danshaya Dayan
Kandy 44 – Tries by Richard Dharmapala (3), Nigel Ratwatte, Danshaya Dayan, Gayan Weeraratna & Gayan Rathnayaka
Penalty and Conversion (2) by Nigel Ratwatte & Conversion by Arshad Jamaldeen
Richard Dharmapala – 15 / Nigel Ratwatte – 12
Police – 18
Try by Mushin Faleel
Penalties (4) by Rizah Mubarak