Another fine display by Sri Lanka Sevens team
Sri Lanka came up with another stupendous performance to clinch the
Plate Championship of the Mumbai Rugby Sevens at the Bombay Gymkahana
Club Grounds on Sunday by beating Malaysia by 24 points (two goals , two
tries) to 17 ( one goal, two tries) in the final in extra time after the
scores read 17 all at the breather.
The Sri Lankans opened scoring through a fine try by Srinath
Sooriyabandara which was converted by Fazil Marija which gave them a 7-0
lead and went ahead further through an unconverted try by Nigel Ratwatte
which made it 12-nil in favour of Sri Lanka. But the Malaysians , who
were strengthened by the inclusion of Fijians scored two successive
tries to make it 12 all at lemons.
Soon after resumption, the Malaysians went ahead through an
unconverted try to make it 17 - 12 just before the final whistle , Sri
Lanka's Sayuru Anthony scored a try and the scores read 17-all at full
time and the game went into extra time.
Then Sri Lanka's Dinusha Chathuranga made a fine break and then slung
out a pass to nippy Srinath Sooriyabandara , who scored under the post
to give Fazil Marija an easy kick at goal to the joy of their team-mates
which gave the Sri Lankans their second successive Plate Championship
having won the title in the Shanghai Sevens three weeks ago.
In the semi finals, Sri Lanka scored a superb 31-19 win over
Philipines helped by tries from Vishwamithra Jayasinghe (two) , Srinath
Sooriyabandara(two) and Dinusha Chathuranga(one) with Fazil Marija
adding the extra points to three tries.
Earlier in the morning, Sri Lanka went down fighting to the
formidable Hong Kong by 12-17 which saw them being relegated to the
Plate Championship. Hong Kong took an early 14-0 lead through two
converted tries but the Sri Lankans hit back through a fine try by
Sajith Saranga which was converted by Fazil Marija.Hong Kong went ahead
further through another try which gave them a 17-7 lead. During the
dying stages of the game, Dinusha Chathuranga fell over for an
unconverted try which gave Asian Heavyweights Hong Kong a hard fought 17
- 12 win.Hong Kong went on to win the Cup Championship with a smashing
28 points (four goals) to 7 (one goal) win over mighty Japan in the
The Sri Lankans with this victory, finished in fifth position overall
in this tournament. Skipper Fazil Marija once again led the side
admirably, while Srinath Sooriyabandara gave another magnificent display
along with Vishwamithra Jayasinghe, Dinusha Chathuranga, Nigel Ratwatte
and Sajith Saranga.
The Sri Lankans owe their success to their dedicated coach Ben
Gollings, who has been able to harness their skills and mould them into
a formidable outfit and the Sri Lankans are well on their way to emerge
as a major force in Asian Sevens Rugby where they would not only be able
to match up but also beat Asian Heavyweights Hong Kong, Japan and Korea
in the future.This performance augurs well for the future of Sri Lanka
Sevens rugby as both President of SLRFU Asanga Seneviratne and Secretary
Rizly Illyas believe that Sri Lanka's fututre lies in Sevens Rugby with
their skills and speed