Sri Lanka Police hosted Havelocks Sports Club today in their opening encounters in the Dialog Rugby League amidst strong Havies support and home crowd of Police. Havelocks announced entry clubbing Police 44-28.
Havelocks outside half Dulaj Perera kicked off proceedings. From the beginning Police was probing forward putting pressure on the Havelocks defense. Havelocks defense line was observed panicking and Police made it count as centre Apisali Naqaliva forced his way through for the first try in the match at the 2nd minute. It was an easy conversion for Samantha Lakshan.
Minutes after the goal, Havelocks bounced back when Police conceded a penalty and decreased the deficit by just four points.
Havelocks weren’t done yet as they scored their first try of the match. Havies prop Dushmantha Priyadarshana found a way through to the try line and the conversion was done successfully by Dulaj Perera. Havies kept on pushing and Police was falling back. In the 20th minute Havelocks scored their second try as their captain Sudarshana Muthutanthri pierced his way through and the try was converted yet again by Dulaj Perera. (Havelocks 17 – Police 7)
Police was desperate for points. The star of todays’ match for Police Apisali Naqaliva provided them with and beauty soon after. The immense force of his was too much to handle as he pushed away all the defenders from the half line and scored his second try for the match. Conversion by Lakshan was successful. Police kept on pushing as they scored another try in the 28th minute after a counter-attack from their territory as Heshan Gunaratne (Gunti) bisected the defenders and scored his first try of the season. Conversion again successful by Samantha Lakshan.
Even though Police ended as the losing side they had their moments in the match. There was one man who stood out throughout the match. It was none other than Apisali Naqaliva who scored his third try in the 34th minute and Lakshan was successful (Havelocks 17 – Police 28)
As half time approached the Park club scored their third try through their winger Mithun Hapugoda by the corner flag but Dulaj was unable to convert.
Half Time: (Havelock 22 – Police 28)
The second half began with a try at the 50th minute by Mohommad Sheriff as the ball was worked from the other end of the field and yet again the conversion by Dulaj was successful. The home side was lacking power as their defense was falling apart in front of the fierce forward line of Havelocks. Havies went on to score their fifth try of the match at the 54th minute through Winger Sandun Herath but they were not done. Villiami Tatitua and Dhiran Warnakulasuriya broke through the defense forcing an error from Police and then Shehan Pathirana took the ball off the scrum and went on to score their sixth try for the match and it was converted successfully by Dulaj Perera. ( Havelocks 41- Police 28)
The sheer desperation of the Police players were showing in the latter part of the match, as they conceded a panalty in the final minute of the match which was succesfully converted into three points by Dulaj. He stood out in the match by scoring 11 points. Apisali Naqaliva for Police scored 15 points scoring a hat-trick as well.
Full Time: (Havelock 44 – Police 28)
At the end of match Glen Christini Coach of Havelocks speaking to ThePapare.com stated “our lads were panicking in the first half but I’m glad we got away with it today”.
ThePapare Player of the match – Apisali Naqaliva – Sri Lanka Police