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Havelocks enter semi-final with 27-15 win over Army

RUGBY: Havelocks Sports Club entered the semi-final of the Caltex Inter-club knock-out Rugby Tournament for the Clifford Cup with a hard-fought 27 points (three goals, two penalties) to 15 (one goal, one try and one drop goal) win over Sri Lanka Army in the first quarter-final played at Longden Place yesterday after leading 10-5 at the breather.

It was the Park Club’s forwards who paved the way for this victory. Flanker Ravi Jayasuriya was a source of inspiration to his team-mates with his fiery loose play and was ably-supported by Hassan, Jayasena, Ganapathy Amarasinghe and skipper Rajiv Perera as the Havelocks ‘eight’ prevailed over their counterparts in the loose.

Havelocks skipper Rajiv Perera struck a shade faster than his vis-a-vis Nanayakkara in the set scrums while the line outs were shared between the Army duo of Ratnayake and Jayasena and the Havelocks’ trio of Jayasuriya, Jayasena and Amarasinghe.

Army’s fly half Upul Kumara set the three quarters in motion at every turn but they could not penetrate the rock hard Havelocks defence with flankers Jayasuirya, Seneviratne and centre Nuwan Samith excelling with some bone-crunching tackles.

Havelocks surged into the lead in the 11th minute when off a 20-metre scrum No. 8 Rajiv Ganapathy broke away and slipped out a pass to lock forward Chathuranga Amarasinghe who crashed through for a try near the posts. Samantha Lakshan added the extra points to make it 7-nil.

Seven minutes later, Army were awarded a penalty in the Havelocks ‘25’ and scrum half Tharindu Darshana took a quick short tap and slung out a pass to fly half Upul Kumara who dummied his way past several defenders to fall over mid right for a glorious try. Knowlten missed the conversion and Havelocks led 7-5.

In the 31st minute, Havelocks fly half Samantha Lakshan fired across a 30-metre penalty to make it 10-5 at ‘lemons’.

In the 5th minute after resumption, Havelocks fly half Samantha Lakshan put over a 25-metre penalty to make it 13-5. Four minutes later, the soldiers reduced the deficit when fly half Upul Kumara dropped a goal from 20 metres out after they won a line out in the Havelocks ‘25’.

In the 15th minute, the Park Club increased their lead when off a second phase move Havelocks hooker Rajiv Perera barged through to score mid right. Samantha Lakshan made no mistake with the conversion to make it 20-8 in favour of Havelocks.

In the 25th minute, the soldiers reduced the deficit when centre Sampath Wijesuriya smothered a clearance kick by a Havelocks defender and Udayanga Chandrasekera picked up the ball and sped over 20 metres to touch down under the posts to give Kapila Knowlton an easy kick at goal and the score read 20-15.

Four minutes later, the Park Club put the issue beyond doubt when off a 10-metre scrum substitute No. 8 Tyronne Harrison powered his way to score mid left. Samantha Lakshan converted and Havelocks ran out winners by 27 points to 15.

Referee: D. Nimal

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