Havelock Sports Club recorded their second consecutive victory in the Dialog Rugby League 2015/16 beating home-town rivals, CR & FC by 34 (4T, 4C,2P) to 18 (3T,1P) at Longden Place on Saturday evening.
Two evenly-matched teams on paper were expected to treat the decent crowd gathered despite afternoon showers in Colombo. The Havies’ forwards and backs combined excellently to keep their unbeaten tag intact against their arch-rivals in Red in this week 2 fixture.
Former Royal skipper Rimzie Jamaldeen kicked off proceedings from left to right of the field. With less than 5 minutes on the game clock, former Havies scrum-half, Kavindu De Costa who swapped places with Rahul De Silva in the half-back position tapped his counterpart from the back of a scrum, collected the loose ball, made a 40-meter sprint and scored the first try of the match. Full back Prince Chamara missed the conversion. (Havies 00 – CR 05)
The visitors in ‘Pink & Chocolate Brown’ hit-back immediately when a stunning set-move from a 5-meter line-out worked perfectly to let their hooker Prasath Madusanka score through the blind-side. Rimzie added the extra points to give his team the lead early in the first-half. (Havies 07 – CR 05)
Havelocks scrum-half Rahul made few errors early on as he took time to settle down but De Costa of CR was in full-flow as he got his team another penalty in the 14th minute when a Havies player was infringed for holding him back while he was breaking through the Havies defense line. Prince Chamara booted the penalty to regain the lead for the hosts’. (Havies 07 – CR 08)
Havelocks inserted their star fly-half Niroshan Fernando from the bench to replace Devinda Pathiranage after the first-quarter was over and the move worked remarkably when he snipped through the CR defense to barge over for a memorable try. Rimzie bisected the posts to add the extra points. (Havies 14 – CR 08)
CR players did not play to their true potential throughout the game as they made many unforced errors but the biggest mistake came just before the half-time whistle when their experienced first five-eighth Ashan De Costa was sin-binned for a dangerous tackle. Havelocks pounced on the opportunity to stretch their lead through Rimzie Jamaldeen’s boot.
Half-Time: Havelocks 17 (2T,2C,1P) – CR & FC 08 (1T, 1P)
After the break, Prince Chamara restarted the game. Havelocks started from where they left-off when their dynamic center Danushka Ranjan completed a brilliant counter-attacking move to score an eye-pleasing try after CR scrum-half’s box-kick failed to give expected results. Rimzie continued his good game with the boot by putting over the conversion. (Havies 24 – CR 08)
Havelocks forwards led by Sudharshan Muthuthanthri complemented their fast-paced back-line by doing all the ground work. CR & FC forwards lacked the intensity in the breakdowns and in the loose.
Rahul De Silva shut down any hopes of a CR comeback when he scored the bonus-point securing try in the 50th minute near the far-corner flag from a number-8 break through the blind-side. Rimzie made no mistakes with the conversion. (Havies 31 – CR 08)
CR & FC brought-in few fresh-legs from the bench in the final quarter and they instantaneously helped flanker Sasanka Ariyarathna score a try from a rolling-maul as the light was fading away in the ground. Kanchana Ramanayake missed the conversion. (Havies 31 – CR 13)
Rimzie Jamaldeen had a near-perfect game as the last-man of defense for Havelocks. He was safe as a house under the high-ball and his touch-kicks were nothing short of brilliant. He completed 100% kicking rate in the game in the 65th minute when he booted over a 23-meter penalty kick after CR forwards were infringed in a breakdown. (Havies 34 – CR 18)
Players like Rochana Hettiarachi and Mekalanka Pramodha for CR & FC who had a superb outing against the Soliders last week were barely seen with the ball in hand. Kanchana Ramanayake playing his first-game of the season after recovering from an injury scored a consolation unconverted try in the dying stages of the game but Havelocks were worthy winners in this game, which is touted as one of the oldest fixtures in Sri Lanka.
Full-Time: Havelock SC 34 (4T, 4C,2P) – CR & FC 18 (3T,1P)
Referee – Aruna Rankothge
ThePapare Man of the Match – Rimzie Jamaldeen conveyed his thoughts on his new position at full-back after the game, “It is something new for me in club rugby. I think it is something which was in me from a long time. I will be happier playing at full back rather than at fly-half.”
Havelock SC – Rimzie Jamaldeen 14 points (4 conversion, 2 Penalties), Danushka Ranjan 5 points (1 try), Rahul De Silva 5 points (1 try), Niroshan Fernando 5 points (1 try), Prasath Madusanka 5 points (1 try)
CR & FC – Kanchana Ramanayake 5 points (1 try), Kavindu De Costa 5 points (1 try), Sasanka Ariyarathne 5 points (1 try), Prince Chamara 3 points (1 conversion)