Kandy rally to defeat Havies - maintain unbeaten record | Sunday Observer

Kandy rally to defeat Havies - maintain unbeaten record

A tussle for the ball in the Dialog ‘A’ division rugby match between defending champs Kandy SC and Havelocks SC at Havelock Park under lights yesterday. (Pic by Sudam Gunasinghe)
A tussle for the ball in the Dialog ‘A’ division rugby match between defending champs Kandy SC and Havelocks SC at Havelock Park under lights yesterday. (Pic by Sudam Gunasinghe)

It was anybody’s game in the first half and defending champions, Kandy Sports Club, had their unbeaten tag at stake against hot contenders Havelock Sports Club when they trailed 3-6 at half time in their Dialog ‘A’ division rugby match played at Havelock Park yesterday.

Travelling all the way from the Hill Capital to play under lights may have had some early lags on them, but Kandy SC overcame all obstacles to finish off in style to maintain their unbeaten first round record defeating Havelocks 20-9.

Havies were on the verge of pulling out a stunner, as they led at the end of the first half, but eventually Kandy rolled the game up after scoring from a goal, two tries and a penalty. Havies had to be content with 9 points which came off three penalties.

Nothing came on the way of Kandy SC soon after the game got off, as they were brought down to 14 men within a minute with key player Richard Dharmapala being sent to the sin bin. The Havies took advantage on the situation to take the lead off two penalties. They took the lead 6-0 with successful kicks from fullback Riza Mubarak in the ninth minute and flyhalf Dulaj Perera, three minutes later.

Kandy was forced to defend their backyard and was later brought down to 14 men again before the 30th minute as prop Ganuka Dissanayake was sin binned. But the visitors were able to take some breath when fullback Nigel Ratwatte closed in the gap with a successful penalty kick just before halftime. But Kandy were trailing 3-6.

Soon after resumption Kandy put their act together to score off a spectacular try to take the lead as hooker Yakoob Ali received a fine offload and decided to go all by himself to score under-the-post. With Ratwatte’s conversion Kandy took the lead 10-6 for the first time, which they maintained till the end.

As Havies lost their key player to the sin bin after ten minutes of the second half Kandy touched down once again when Ratwatte was fed neatly by ace Fazil Marija. Ratwatte criss-crossed a few defenders to brace a try, which he failed to convert as Kandy led 15-6. Halfway of the second half, Havies made a serious attack and was paid back with a penalty which was put over by Mubarak as the gap closed in by 15-9.

It was a matter of a goal for the home team as the game neared its end, and Havies were on the onslaught giving scares to the visitors of a possible threat to their unbeaten run. But out of nowhere they lost momentum and the grip while making a maneuver, which was almost costly. One of the Havies threequarters made a long pass soon after the ball changed into their hands, but was directly sent out to the signboard, on which Kandy took advantage and made a quick line out to score a try.

Referee Rohan Fernando after consulting the TMO, Shamrath Fernando turned down the try, but Kandy took the little time left to attack, which was neatly thwarted by the Havies defenders. The home team could not hold breath for long as Kandy three-quarters changed course and worked the ball in the opposite direction to give Richard Dharmapala the honour of scoring the try to seal a 20-9 win.

Comments

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.