Police SC came up with a thrilling victory over the Airmen by 24 points to 7 at the Ratmalana Air Force Grounds.
The Dialog Rugby League is up and running in the new year with the table toppers and the rest going head to head in the hunt for the league title. Air Force SC hosted Police SC on the first Sunday of the year. Police has been having a terrible season so far being stuck at no 7 in the table while Air Force SC is one position ahead of the cops.
Major injury concerns for Police with Bilal Hassen, Riza Mubarak and Mohommad Sheriff still not fit to play; they had to find replacements to fill those big boots. Rehan Weerakoon kicked off proceedings for the cops. Air Force fullback Nuwan Perera had the chance to draw first blood in the first few minutes when Police conceded a penalty inside their 22m. But his attempt was off target.
The Cops were rusty in the first few minutes but they started hitting their straps ten minutes into the game. Their experienced center Chula Susantha broke through the defenses from the half way line, making the home side panic and concede a scrum 5 meters away from their try line. The Police scrum was too strong for Air Force as they pushed forward and it was flanker Shanaka Harishchandra who went over the line. Abzal Mohommad bisected the uprights with ease. (Police SC 7 – Air Force SC 0)
Nuwan Perera had another chance to put points on board for the home side but he could only manage to hit the upright. Both teams had equal possession in the first half. The home side had their chances to get points on the board but they just couldn’t find the finishing touch.
Half Time: Police SC 7 – Airforce SC 0
It was an important game for both teams as they were struggling at the bottom of the table. Police looked more determined and organized in the second half but they too were struggling to convert possession into points. It was Radeesha Seneviratne who broke through for the cops in the second half. After a series of penalties were conceded by the home side, the cops were awarded a scrum inside the 22m. Radeesha, taking the ball from the scrum and going over the line, put Police into a commanding position. (Police SC 12 – Air Force SC 0)
Radeesha did a brilliant job, replacing Bilal Hassen; turnovers and some telling runs helping his side to dominate proceedings. Police went on to score again in the 57th minute through a converted try by Joel Perera, who gathered the ball from a line out and was driven over the line by the forwards. The conversion was successful by Abzal Mohommad. (Police SC 19 – Air Force SC 0)
The home side bounced back five minutes after with a converted try by Kaushal Manupriya but the mastermind behind the try was Gayantha Iddamalgoda who created a gap right in the middle and gave an inside pass to Kaushal who went all the way to score under the post. It was an easy conversion for Nuwan Perera. (Police SC 19 – Air Force 07)
The cops were put under a lot of pressure during the last ten minutes when they were reduced to 14 men when Randeera Silva was sin binned. But the Police players kept their composure, defended well and prevented the home side from making a comeback.
Police scrum half Sudam Sooriyarachch,i after having a brilliant game, gave his team the ideal ending with a converted try. It was through another set play inside the 5m line, Sudam finding a gap to sneak through to give his team the bonus point. It was just what the doctor ordered for the highly talented Police side while for Air Force facing another defeat added more misery to their season.
Full Time : Police SC 24 – Air Force 7
- for Police SC:
Shanaka Harishchandra 1 try ,Joel Perera 1 try ,Radeesha Seneviratne 1 try ,Sudam Sooriyarachchi 1 try ,Abzal Mohomma 2 conversions
- For Air Force SC:
Kaushal Manupriya 1 try ,Nuwan Perera 1 conversion
ThePapare.com Man of the Match: Radeesha Seneviratne (Police SC)
Chanaka Udara skipper of Police speaking to ThePapare.com:
“Really happy with the win. We were struggling this season so it’s good to be back on winning ways. We would have loved if we were able to finish off our moves and turn possession into points. Hopefully the injured players will come back by next week. “