Police hold Navy to a 13-all draw
Sri Lanka Police Sports Club came out with their best effort for the
season to hold a strong Sri Lanka Navy outfit to an exciting 13 all draw
in their Caltex inter club ‘A’ division league rugby tournament match
worked off at the Police Park in Bambalapitiya yesterday.
Police SC playing their first game on their home grounds really
surprised their more fancied opponents with a courageous performance as
they collected their points from one goal and two penalties.
Navy’s centre Chula Susantha scoring a try with Police scrum
half Milinda Bandara making a desperate bid to foil him in their
Caltex ‘A’ Division League rugby match played at Police Park
yesterday which ended in a 13-all draw. Picture by Ranjith
Navy SC who were well poised to pull off their third win in the
tournament failed to live up to expectations as they responded with two
unconverted tries and one penalty.
In fact the Sailors built up a good 8-3 lead at half time under tough
weather conditions and looked set to consolidate their position in the
second half. But instead they were up against a more spirited and
determined Police team which came close to recording their first victory
of the tournament.
Both teams had a great chance of adding the finishing touches but
their respective place kickers threw away the opportunities during the
latter stages of the game.
First it was Police SC’s Harshana Wijeweera who fumbled with a
somewhat difficult kick after they had successfully earned a penalty
following a series of moves from their rampaging set of forwards.
Thereafter Navy SC full back Nuwan Hettiarachchi also missed a
penalty from kicking range and with that their last possible chance of
snatching a victory went astray.
Nevertheless Police SC will be quite pleased with the final outcome
after their ordinary performances in the previous couple of games. They
stuck to a set plan from the inception and always kept possession with
them which helped them to add a lot of pressure on their opponents.
Even then it was during the last 30 minutes of play that Police SC
really got their act together well while driving through their opponents
defence quite regularly. They were able to keep play in the Navy SC
territory for a long period while forcing a series of five metre scrums.
They were eventually successful in penetrating the Navy SC defence
with flanker Nalin Archarige falling over mid left after breaking off
from a loose maul with plenty of support coming from the number eight
Fly half Harshana Wijeweera made no mistake with the conversion and
Police SC were able to reduce the gap to 10-13 at that stage. Wijeweera
again responded with a 25 metre penalty that helped Police SC to draw
level 13-13 five minutes ahead of the final whistle. Earlier Navy SC
stared the second half on a positive note with Chula Susantha slicing
through the Police SC defence after having collected an awkward pass
from Samantha Lakshan.
However Susantha made amends with a superb collection and went on to
touch down near the corner flag.
Full back Nuwan Hettiarachchi missed the conversion but Navy SC were
able to build up a commanding 13-3 lead shortly after half time. In the
first half of course Navy SC held their dominance with a well organized
game plan where they won a lot of territorial advantage through their up
and under kicks with fly half Dav Anand in excellent form.
In fact Dav Anand put Navy SC in front with a neat 25 metre penalty
before flanker Rohitha Rajapaksa produced a superb piece of individual
brilliance to touch down following a five metre scrum in the tenth
minute of play.
Dav Anand missed the conversion and a few minutes later Police SC
reduced the gap to 3-8 with Harshana Wijeweera firing across his first
penalty of the match.