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Return match on July 30 at Longden Place:

A battle between CR’s forwards and Havelocks’ ‘threes’

The confrontation between traditional rivals Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club and Havelocks Sports Club for the Eustace Matthysz Trophy in the Caltex ‘A’ Division League rugby match at Longden Place on July 30 (Saturday) should turn out to be a battle between CR’s power-packed forwards and Havelocks speedy three quarters.

The Red Shirts won the first round game played at Havelock Park one month ago by 15-10 but since then the Park club have been strengthened by the inclusion of former Kandy SC and Sri Lanka centre Chamara Vithanage and Tongan national Sevens player Paula Talaka.

With former Kandy SC and Sri Lanka scrum half Amjad Buksh operating from the base of the scrum and two hard running centres in Chamara Vithanage and Paula Talaka and winger Anuruddha Wilwara who has stood out with his daring runs down the flank the Park club ‘threes’ have the edge over their counterparts.

CR and FC will miss the services of their dashing winger Vishwamithra Jayasinghe who has still not recovered from the injury he suffered in the Kandy match and the experienced Reza Mubarak. Last year’s fly half Nigel Ratwatte who missed all the first round matches due to a knee injury makes a welcome return to the side and will pair off with Srinath Sooriyabandara, with former Thomian Heshan Guneratne manning one wing in the absence of Jayasinghe.

The Red Shirts with a much heavier and better set of forwards should dominate up front. Skipper Dushanth Lewke has been a source of inspiration to his teammates with his fiery loose play ably supported by Anuja Perera, Ishan Noor, Chilanka Samaraweera, Shehan Dimitri and double International Dunstan de Silva (who has donned the Sri Lanka Jersey in rugby and boxed for the national team at the 1991 SAF Games in Colombo).

But the Longden Place club’s biggest problem will be the lack of a reliable place kicker having missed five penalties within kicking range against Kandy SC which they lost 15-22 while Reza Mubarak fluffed three penalties in the vital match against Navy which ended in a 18-all draw.

Probable teams:

CR and FC: Dunstan de Silva, Anuja Perera, Henry Terrence or Shehan Dimitri, Hasitha Perera or Hasthika Bandaranayake, Ishan Noor, Gayan Ratnage, Chilanka Samaraweera, Dushanth Lewke (Captain), Srinath Sooriyabandara and Nigel Ratwatte or Niroshan Fernando, Ashan de Costa, Mushin Faleel, Lasintha de Costa, Shabbir Mohamed, Heshan Gunaratne, Mohamed Sheriff.

HAVELOCKS: Desmond Wilson, Roshan Fonseka, Sudarshana, Asela Dissanayake, Kavinda Jayasena (Captain), Sudarshan Muthutantri, Dhiren Warnakulasuriya, Angsta Sae, Amjad Buksh and Pushpakumara, Isuru Shantha, Chamara Vithanage, Paula Talaka, Anuruddha Wilwara, Sajith Bandara.



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