Police Sports Club came out with a sterling performance to make short work of CR&FC in their own backyard at Longden Place beating them 41-22 causing another upset in the Dialog Rugby League 2014/15.
The game between the two sides kicked off after a delay with the referee not being satisfied with the air pressure of the ball and the home team should take some flack for the delay. At the inception the CR&FC forwards looked to trounce the opposition 8 with what looked to be a heavier pack weight. The game at the onset was scrappy from both sides CR continuously being off side whilst Police were repeatedly entering rucks from the side. Nevertheless Police SC did well to turnover the ball at close quarter play frustrating the CR offensive plays at every single go.
Police displaying their dominant position early on were the first on the board courtesy of Centre Apisai Naqliva. Samantha Lakshan converted the try to give the visitors an early 7 nothing lead. Samathan Lakshan had the opportunity to take the lead further when his team was awarded a penalty but he was unsuccessful.
Twenty eight minutes into the game Apisai Naqaliva was once more into the action with a good break, absorbing defenders before unloading long to Sudam Suriyaarachchi, who was playing at wing three quarter away from his usual scrum half position, to score in the corner. Samantha Lakshan missed the conversation from a touch angle as the visitors increased their lead to 12 nothing.
CR was having a difficult time managing the immaculate defence of the Police team and not only did the visitors defend they were also continuously successful in turning over CR ball frustrating the home team.
They were almost on the board with a good piercing run by captain Ashan de Costa but it was disallowed by the referee with an infringement taking place prior. Captain Costa nevertheless got his team a try shortly after, brilliantly supporting his winger then stepping across the defines to go over. Kanchana Ramanayake did not have any trouble with the conversion and CR were finally on the board 12-7.
Police SC managed to increase their lead just before the half time whistle with a blunder from Puppy Farral seeing the ball being punted by Samantha Lakshan who ultimately fell over the ball on the goal line. Apisai Naqaliva took the conversion and was spot on, taking the score to 19 -7 Police ahead.
Half-time – Police 19 (2G 1T) CR&FC 7 (1G)
Hosts CR&FC had to get on the board early if they were to stay in the game and make an impression. Unfortunately for the home side though Police winger Heshan Guneratne had other ideas as he slipped through some paltry defence off-loading to Samantha Lakshan who sprinted under the posts. The scorer himself adding the extra points took the score to 26-7 and the pressure was really building on the Reds. The visitors increased their lead further with a penalty due to CR&FC’s tackler not releasing. Samantha Lakshan slotted the 3fer in, 29-7. Lakshan missed an additional penalty offered to him as the 40 meter kick dropped short.
CR&FC were looking off-colour mainly due to the pressure from the opposition defence. Police SC’s captain Hashan Gomes pulled a brilliant try from the base of the scrum from 5 meters out running a lovely line, outfoxing the CR defence yet again. Apisai Naqaliva did the formalities and added the extra points. Police SC extended their lead to a daunting 29 points (36-7).
CR&FC broke the chains of resistance for a brief moment with try’s in quick succession. The first try came through the hand of playmaker Robbie Malneek who sliced his way through the defence and next by Kanchana Ramanayake after the brilliant work of Nipuna Devinda/Sasanka Ariyaratne. Kanchana Ramanayake was unsuccessful with the extra points in both tries and the scores read 36-17 in favour of the visitors. Robbie Malneek was the architect of an additional score with a sensible long pass out to Hashan Maduranga who went over for another unconverted try to put the scores at 36-22.
Having to score twice CR were facing an uphill task, but not impossible if they managed to pull one at their earliest. It was not to be as Police SC hammered the nails into the coffin with another try. Apisi Naqaliva was once more the creator and finisher of the score with one of his many piercing runs showing amazing agility for his size. Naqaliva converting the try himself took the score to an impassable 41-22.
Full time – Police 41 (4G 1T 1P) CR&FC 22 (1G 3T)
Police took hold and did not let go of the good momentum they built up over the period of the game and their defence was the game changer frustrating the opposition and contributing to the pressure.
The winning Coach Douglass Bersill stating his views on the match concurred that his teams defence was what won them the game and the fitness which the players have built up over time to give their most during the 80 minutes of the game. The Coach also stated that playing wide and open rugby was part of the plan to tackle the opposition.
ThePapare Player of the Match – Apisai Naqaliva (Police)
CR&FC Squad: Nipuna Devinda, Malinda Hettiarachchi, Shameer Fajudeen, Ishan Noor, Gavin Siegertsz, Vasaba Senerath, Sasanka Ariyarathne, Puppy Farral, Dilan Soyza, Ashan de Costa, Hashan Maduranga, Robbie Malneek, Kanchana Ramanayaka, Gayan Liyanage, Rochana Hettiarachchi, Arun Kumar, Hafiz Adhan, Finau Vaiolaa, Sithum Pieris, Nalin Kumara, Billy Rophia and Amila Bandara.
Police SC Squad; Udara Gayan, Rasith Silva, Randira Silva, Romesh Arachchige, Pasidu Wathudura, Shanaka Harschandra, Chanaka Suriyapperuma, Filimoni Seru, Hashan Gomez, Apisai Naqaliva, Banuka Pieris, Samantha Lakshan, Ashan Bandara, Sudam Sooriyarachchi, Heshan Guneratne, Pawith Yasantha, Prasath Madushanka, Gamunu Settinayaka, Thanujaya Senaviratne, Prasad Siyabaladuwa, Horace Otieno, Janith Chandimal and Randitha Warnapura.