Navy Sports Club held Havelock Sports Club to a 20-all tie in their Dialog Rugby League 2015/16 second round fixture played on Saturday night at Havelock Park. Both teams scored two converted tries and two penalties.
Havelock’s fly-half Rimzie Jamaldeen kicked off the game with a moderate crowd present at the venue. The home team camped inside the Navy 22’ for the first five minutes with their forwards putting a hell of a lot of pressure on their opponents.
In the 5th minute of the match, the hosts’ excellent work was rewarded when Hirantha Perera’s grubber kick found the speedy former Josephian winger Rehan Thiyagarajah near the corner flag, as the latter chased it well to score the first try of the match. Rimzie Jamaldeen converted. (Havelock 07 – Navy 00)
Chanaka Chandimal made a harsh tackle on Rahul De Silva who was in the air trying to collect a high ball and the hosts received a useful 40-meter penalty kick which Rimzie sliced through to perfection in the 25th minute. (Havelock 10 – Navy 03)
The Sailors finally found their rhythm and played to a certain game plan to gain much-needed possession and territory. The visitors put their first points on the board when the game clock neared 20 minutes as full-back Thilina Weerasinghe booted over a 25-meter kick after the Havies’ line was penalized for off-side play. (Havelock 07 – Navy 03)
The first power failure in the ground delayed the second Thilina Weerasinghe penalty kick by 10 minutes which the visitors got after the Havies’ front-row was penalized for standing up in the scrum. (Havelock 10 – Navy 06)
A few minutes before the half-time whistle, Navy scrum-half Richie Dharmapala made an intelligent box kick into space which his fellow full-back Thilina Weerasinghe chased down well and dotted over the big white line. Thilina converted his own try to give the advantage to the visitors going into the break. (Havelock 10 – Navy 13)
HT: Havelock SC 10 – Navy SC 13
After the turnaround, another power failure delayed the start of the second half by almost 25 minutes with the artificial lights not beefing up properly but in the end Thilina Weerasinghe made a hanging kick to restart the game.
The unforced, silly mistakes crept into the game to make it a stop-start and sluggish affair even though Havies persistently played the game inside Navy territory but failed to locate a try-scorer.
With the game approaching the final quarter, Navy received two penalties within kicking range but their place-kicker Thilina Weerasinghe failed to bisect the posts on both occasions; misses which came back to haunt the Sailors in the end.
Former Josephian and replacement prop-forward Stephan Gregory bulldozed his way in for a memorable try under the posts at the start of the final quarter as the visitors got back into the lead. Weerasinghe made no mistakes with the conversion. (Havelock 13 – Navy 20)
After several attacking phases, Havelock prop-forward Dushmantha Priyadharshana barged his way over the try line as the pendulum swung back to the side of the hosts’. Jamaldeen converted to level the scores with just over 10 minutes left on the clock. (Havelock 20 – Navy 20)
Both teams made exciting moves yet the defense from either side remained defiant. A dangerous tackle on Havies scrum-half Rahul De Silva by Navy winger Buddhima Piyarathne meant that the visitors played the final 6 minutes with only 14 men on the field but the scores did not change and the match ended as the first tied game of the season.
With this result, Kandy Sports Club have further strengthened their path to retain the League Championship.
FT: Havelock SC 20 (2T,2C,2P) – Navy SC 20 (2T,2C,2P)
Referee – Aruna Rankothge
ThePapare Man of the Match – Lasindu Ishan (Havelock No.8)
Havelock SC – Rimzie Jamaldeen 10 points (2 conversions, 2 penalties), Rehan Thiyagarajah 5 points (1 try), Dushmantha Priyadharshana 5 points (1 try)
Navy SC – Thilina Weersinghe 15 points (2 conversion, 2 penalties, 1 try), Stephan Gregory 5 points (1 try)
After the game, Navy SC head coach Nilfer Ibrahim shared his views exclusively to ThePapare.com, “The loss of Yoshitha, hours before the game was unexpected and had a big