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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 Place.

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 table.

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 They have been replaced by Ashan de Costa and Lasintha de Costa respectively.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.



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