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Havelocks face fierce challenge from Navy

Havelocks Sports Club which is in a buoyant mood after their sensational 25-24 win over traditional rivals CR and FC face a fierce challenge from giant killers Sri Lanka Navy Sports Club in their Caltex ‘A’ division return league match of the Cup Championship at Havelock Park today.

The Park Club strengthened by the foreign duo of Angsta Sae and Paula Talaka ended a five year wait by overcoming the Red Shirts but will be confronted by a gallant Navy outfit which toppled defending champions the mighty Kandy SC by 29-25 at Welisara seven days ago.

Today’s confrontation should turn out to be a battle between Navy’s marauding forwards and Havelocks’ speedy three quarters.

Navy skipper Yoshitha Rajapaksa has been a source of inspiration to his team-mates with his fiery loose play and has been well supported by Sathya Ranatunge, Bilal Hassen, Kalana Amarasinghe, Namal Rajapaksa, sturdily built Sumedha Malewana and the omnipresent flanker Danushka Perera and the Navy ‘eight’ should reign supreme in the loose.

Possession should play a vital role in the final outcome. In the set scrums Sri Lanka ruggerite Bilal Hassen should get the better of his vis-a-vis Roshan Fonseka while in the line outs the Havelocks trio of Jayasena, Duminda de Silva and Dissanayake should prevail over the Sailors duo of Amarasinghe and Malewana.

The Pink and Chocolate jerseyed lads boast of a superior back division. The halves combination of ex-national player Amjad Buksh and Pushpakumara Perera has hit it off smoothly which has resulted in centres Anurddha Wilwara, Tongan national Sevens player Paula Talaka and Chamara Vithanage tearing apart the opponents defence with their daring runs and Havelocks will hope for another dazzling display from them today.

The sailors will strive to nullify this advantage with some bone-crunching tackles from centres Dinusha Fernando, Dilip Methruwan and flankers Yoshitha Rajapaksa and Danushka Perera to keep a close check on Havelocks’ ‘threes’.

The teams:

Havelocks - Desmond Wilson, Roshan Fonseka, Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Kavinda Jayasena (captain), Duminda de Silva, Asela Dissanayake, Dhiren Warnakulasuriya, Angsta Sae, Amjad Buksh and Pushpakumara Perera, Chamara Vithanage, Anuruddha Wilwara, Paula Talaka, Isuru Shantha, Sajith Bandara.

Navy Sports Club - Sathya Ranatunge, Bilal Hassen, Piumal Manchanayake, Kalana Amerasinghe, Sumedha Malewana, Yoshitha Rajapaksa (captain), Danushka Perera, Namal Rajapaksa, Suranga Pushpakumara and Dev Anand, Samantha Lakshan, Dinusha Fernando, Dilip Methruwan, Niranjan Wickremaratne, Eranda Weerakkody.

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