Dialog Rugby League round 2 week 11- Kandy beat Police after a week off play and still remain top of the league. Fulltime: Kandy 37 (T5, C3, P2) – Police 03 (P1)
A gloomy afternoon at Longdon Place saw the clash between the league leader Kandy vs Police. Police came with a rather disappointing loss at home to Havies and had their work cut off. Kandy however faced the challenge with the intention of maintaining their winning streak after a convincing victory over CH&FC the previous week. After a physical game of Rugby, Kandy managed to end up victorious with a final score of 37-3.
Lakshan Samantha for Police kicked off the game with the motive of controlling the game playing in a key position. Both teams engaged in good attacking rugby in the first 10 minutes. Lakshan for police spotted a gap and kicked the ball into space which found touch to find his team defending a line-out just 5 metres away from the Kandy goal line. Fortunately for Police, Kandy’s hooker Damith Dissanayake was unable to throw the ball straight due to the heavy breeze across the field. Referee D.Nimal awarded a 5 metre scrum for Police which was the perfect opportunity for them to start proceedings for the day. However, the Kandy pack led by the legendary Sean Wijesinghe managed to counter scrum their team out of what the rugby players usually consider the ‘Red Zone’.
Kandy’s star flanker from South Africa Christopher Cloete had a brilliant start to the game doing what a flanker does best. He managed to get himself to every breakdown attempting to turn the ball over from his opponents. 15 minutes into the game saw Kandy in the Police 22 for the first time in the game. Christopher Cloete along with the strong Kenyan Oscar Omar were hitting the ball upfront and sucking the Police defenders into the ruck. Fazil Marija who was back at No.10 in the absence of Quinton Crocker spotted a gap on the right flank and immediately requested Roshan Weerarathna to send the ball of the ruck. This move saw Kandy opening the sheets through Shashika Jayawardhana who had joined the line from the pack. Roshan missed the conversion which looked difficult against the wind. (Kandy 05 – Police 00)
20 minutes into the game, the Police captain Hashan Gomez spotted a gap on the blind side and picked the ball off the ruck. He made an outstanding 40 metre break from the halfway line just find himself just metres short courtesy of a brilliant chasing tackle by Christopher Cloete. Kandy were awarded a 40 metre line-out in the oppositions half 25 minutes into the game. A well-practiced set play saw the lock forward Dimitry Wijethunga storming towards the line from mid field to be caught 10 metres away from the try line. Quick ball off the ruck resulted in Kandy scoring their second try through Christopher Cloete after Oscar Omar sucked in two defenders creating an overlap on the left flank. Roshan was successful with the conversion. (Kandy 12 – Police 00)
Naqaliva Apisai, the playmaker for Police played as fullback this game limiting himself from the opportunities to carry the ball. However, 38 minutes into the game Apisai attempted a 50m penalty kick which had the direction but unfortunately for him and Police not the distance. The Police forwards were conceding penalties at breakdowns allowing Kandy to play at their own pace. Final move of the first half saw Roshan Weerarathna attempting a kick at goal from just 25 metres away. He successfully kicked the ball through the uprights. Halftime: Kandy 15 – Police 00
Second half started with Fazil Marija restarting for Kandy. From the word go Kandy managed to get on with the game plan and play good running rugby. They ended up in the Police 5 metre line at one point. However, the Police forwards managed to contain the attack of Kandy. 47 minutes into the game, Oscar Omar broke through the midfield defence at ease once again and offloaded to Shashika Jayawardhana who was tackled dangerously by the Police last man. Kandy opted for a scrum with the motive of scoring first in he second half only to find themselves penalised just 5 metres away as the support player was unable to stay on his feet. Police replaced their New Zealander Richard Lawson who was on the bench and 55 minutes into the game, Lawson passed the ball poorly only to understand that the opposite winger Lavanga Perera had collected the untidy ball and was already cruising towards the post. Lavanga scored his first try of the game between the uprights untouched. Roshan was yet again successful with the conversion. (Kandy 22 – Police 00)
Kandy’s latest foreign inclusion Choto Pongi who is Tongan National was on the bench and his time had come to shine on the day. 58th minutes into the game however, Police were presented a chance to open the scoreboard as they were awarded a 22 metre penalty. Lakshan Samantha was successful with the kick. (Kandy 22 – Police 03)
60 minutes into the game, Kandy were at the halfway mark with Roshan Weerarathna ready to send the ball out. Instead he spotted a gap at the far end and opted to use the chip kick for his teammates to chase. Surprisingly Krisho Jehan along with Oscar Omar were chasing the ball. End of play saw Oscar Omar scoring his first try of the day in the corner flag beating the ball and his hardworking prop forward Krisho Jehan. Roshan was not on target this time. (Kandy 27 – Police 03)
Police forwards were conceding penalties at breakdowns and they were penalised for not rolling away at the tackle 68 minutes into the game. Kandy opted to go for the points and Roshan made no mistakes in converting it. (Kandy 30 – Police 03)
Fazil kicked off for Kandy once again. After 70 minutes he received a kick from the Police halfback to understand that a huge gap had opened up on the left flank. Fazil Marija switched his engine on and opted to run as we’ve seen happen in many instances. Fazil gained 20 metres and offloaded to Nigel Ratwatte who drew the last defender and passed to Oshan Perera who ran 40 metres to score his first try having replaced from the bench. (Kandy 37 – Police 03)
Police were fighting till the end and managed to get into good attacking positions but failed to stay composed and convert it into point. The last move saw replacement flyhalf Arshad Jamaldeen attempting a 42 metre penalty. Jamaldeen failed to convert.Police did manage to get into good areas in the flied but failed to capitalise. They should focus on working as a unit and not solely rely on players like Apisai. Kandy however on the other hand showed the rugby arena that simple rugby with the least amount of mistakes can win you any game on the day. Kandy managed to play as a team and use every player’s individual strength to benefit the team. Players such as Christopher Cloete, Oscar Omar, Lavanga Perera and Dimitry Wijeythunga had a brilliant game.
Fulltime: Kandy 37 – Police 03
Referee – D.Nimal
ThePapre.com Man of the Match – Lavanga Perera (Kandy)