CR face a tough task against Army
Can the CR and FC, which suffered a shock 3-18 defeat at the hands of
Navy, withstand Army's fire-power? The answer to this question will be
found only this evening when the Red Shirts confront the high-riding
soldiers in their Caltex 'A' Division League rugby match at Longden
The soldiers who are going great guns this season are lying third in
the points table with 28.00 points having notched up seven victories in
nine outings and a victory in today's game will not only help them to
avenge the 8-43 defeat suffered at the hands of CR in the first round
game but also enable them to climb upto second place in the points
To add to their woes CR and FC will miss the services of fly halt Dev
Anand and centre Chamara Vithanage for today's game. It was Anand who
played a key role in their success in the first round game with his
excellent place kicking and long kicks to touch. They have been replaced
by Ashan de Costa and Lasintha de Costa respectively.
Up front a terrific tussle for supremacy can be expected with CR's
power-packed forwards Boteju, Anuja Perera, Noor, Lewke, Pavithra
Fernando and skipper Karthelis being confronted by Army's marauding
'eight' especially, Meepage, Jayalal, Kotalawala, Susantha, Ratnayake
and Manoj Silva. In the set scrums CR's Anuja Perera should get the
better of his vis-a-vis Jayalal while in the line outs the Army trio of
Susantha, Perera and Ratnayake should hold sway.
The Red Shirts will hope that their new halves combination of
Sooriyabandara and Ashan de Costa will hit it off today as they have two
hard running centres in Lasintha de Costa and Karunanayake while on the
wings they will have the services of that powerful runner Dinesh Kumara.
Army's coach Martin Jones has improved the skills of their three
quarters and encouraged them to run with the ball instead of kicking
ahead aimlessly and it has paid rich dividends as they have two powerful
runners on the wings - Lankatilleke and young Saliya Handapangoda who
will pose the biggest threat to CR today.
CR and FC - Danushka Botegu, Anuja Perera, Shamil Mohamed, Ishan Noor,
Ashen Karthelis (Captain), Danushka Perera, Pavithra Fernando, Dushanth
Lewke, Srinath Sooriyabandara and Ashan de Costa, Dinesh Kumara,
Lasintha de Costa, Niroshan Karunanayake, Dinusha Chathuranga or Nishan
de Silva, Reza Mubarak.
ARMY - Nishantha Kotalawala (captain), Asoka Jayalal, Nushal Meepage,
Ajith Susantha, K.S. Perera, R.M.G. Ratnayake, Jayaratne, Manoj Silva,
Upali Wickremasinghe and Kapila Knowlton, Saliya Handapangoda, Sampath,
Asanka Perera, Lankatilleke, Upul Kumara.