CR in lacklustre win                              

By Dinesh Kulatunga
The Ceylonese Rugby and Football Club opened their season in a winning note, when they defeated Sri Lanka Air Force by 29-3; in a Caltex inter-club league tournament first round game played at Longden Place yesterday. The winners collected their points from two goals and three tries to their opponents’ solitary penalty. At ‘lemons’CR led 17-3.

In a nutshell CR forwards were outstanding with their power play with Anuruddha Darmathilake, Pavithra Fernando, Danushka Perera, Diran Warnakulasuriya and Dushan Lewke excelling. The CR back division failed to live upto expectations as many of their moves were thwarted by their opposite numbers. But Niroshan Karunanayake, Nishan de Silva and Mohammed Sheriff had an outstanding game.

The Airmen on the other hand had to blame themselves for not capitalising on opportunities given. Their forwards though they lacked in weight, had a fare share in set pieces. They excelled in spoiling work. Their back division could not deliver any ‘surprises’ as they were nailed down by their opponents on many occasions.

CR drew first blood when wing three-quarter Nishan de Silva went over after a second phase move. De Silva playing his first club rugby game displayed a clean pair of heels. Fly half Dev Anand failed with the conversion. But the Airmen hit back to reduce the lead, with a 30-meter penalty by their fly half Chanaka Chandimal. Then CR struck back from a 10-meter line out from the Air force touch line. Anand dummied and gave an inside pass to center Karunanayake, who went over, taking the Air Force defence by surprise. Anand converted to make it 12-3. CR again scored when flanker Pavithra Fernando barged over for an unconverted try. Anand missed an easy 20-meter penalty before the short whistle.

In the second half Airmen performed well to contain their opponents. But CR forwards dominated again when Lewke, replacing Warnakulasuriya, scored from a maul. Sheriff taking the kicking duties failed with the conversion. During last stages of the game, center Karunanayake ran through several defenders unopposed to score under the post. Sheriff converted.
Air Force prop Saumya Silva was given a yellow card for a dangerous tackle.
The game was controlled by Priyantha Gunarathna.


Lions thrash Vidyartha

Hafiz Marikkar, Kandy Correspondent
Trinity College registered their second consecutive victory trouncing their home town rivals, Vidayartha College by 60 points to 9 in the Singer League inter school rugby tournament match played at Nittawela yesterday.
Trinity led 15-9 at the breather.

Lions collected their points off five goals and five tries while Vidyartha countered with three penalties.
It was Vidyartha who drew first blood off two back to back penalties put over by fly half, Tharaka Dissanayake and number eight, Hirindu Wijeratne to lead 6 points to nil. Then came the first breakthrough for the lions with an unconverted try by their number eight, Ruzni Ramzeen. Vidyartha who led 6-5 at this stage increased their lead with a yet another penalty put over by Wijeratne, but this stood as their last scoring.

Shortly before lemons, which came in after a seven minute delay, Trinity scored twice through, prop forward, Mohamed Riyazy and then by centre, Shenan Armstrong, but his brother Kennan missed the conversations on both attempts.

After the cross over it turned out to be a one sided affair with Trinity planting tries serially. Leading the count was their dashing winger, Vishvajith Wijesinghe who scored thrice, while number eight, Ruzni Ramzeen went on to score his second try in the game. The others who contributed with a try apiece were prop forward, Ishrath Singhalaxshana, flanker Idris Omar and Mohamed Hameed while Kennan Armstrong put over five conversations.
Imran Carder refereed.


Punjab, Bangalore squeeze out dramatic wins

Bangalore Royal Challengers and Deccan Chargers dished out one of the best games of the IPL at Bangalore on Saturday. In a relatively low-scoring match in which the bowlers from both teams had plenty of say, Bangalore squeezed out a dramatic three-run win - their second of the tournament and the first at home - to move to sixth in the points table.
In the other match for the day Kings Punjab kept their nerves to beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 9 runs under lights at Mohali.
This match had it all: some good bowling, some excellent batting, and plenty of frayed nerves. In the end, Punjab clung on to win. The crowd has been treated to a super game. Yuvraj had no hesitation batting first on this run-filled surface and thanks to some cameos Punjab put up 178 for 6. Sreesanth and Pathan then struck twice each at the start to take four wickets inside five overs and from there it was all uphill for Kolkata. Hussey and Saha refused to give up, adding 104 in 9.1 overs, which is a Twenty20 record for the sixth wicket. Hussey made 71 from 46 balls before falling in the penultimate over, Saha remained unbeaten on 59 from 32 but it wasn’t enough. Kolkata lost their third game on the trot.


  • At Bangalore: Bangalore Royal Challengers beat Deccan Chargers by 3 runs.
    Bangalore Royal Challengers 156-8 (20) (W Jaffer 44, V Kohli 38, R Dravid 26, RP Singh 3/41, P Oiha 2/28)
    Deccan Chargers 153-6 (20) (VVS Laxman 52, R Sharma 57, Zaheer Khan 2/24, P Kumar 3/23).

  • At Mohali: Kings XI Punjab beat Kolkata Knight Riders by 9 runs.
    Kings Punjab XI 178-6 (20) (S Marsh 40, K Sangakkara 28, I Pathan 24 n.o., P Chawla 21 n.o., Umar Gul 2/27)
    Kolkata Knight Riders 169-6 (20) (D Hussey 71, P Saha 59 n.o., S Sreesanth 2/25, I Pathan 2/18).


Kandy SC swamp Old Zahirians 120/5

Kandy SC opened their season with a crushing 120 points to 5 win over Old Zahirians SC at Maitland Crescent yesterday. The whole game was one-sided affairs as the hill capital club went on to collect their points with ease. It was a pity to see Old Zahirians so totally outclassed with all their efforts to invade the Kandy territory brought to nought. As many as eleven Old Zahirian players were injured and four players had to be taken off the field sustaining heavy injuries.

Kandy scored 13 goals and 5 tries to Old Zahirians’ solitary try. For Kandy SC Sanjeewa Jayasinghe scored 4 tries and Pradeep Liyanage landed 3 tries under the post. Tissa Weeratunga and Erandha Weerakkody scored 2 tries each. The rest of the tries were scored by Duleep Selvam, Prasad Chathuranga. Fazil Marijah, Sameera Silva, Sajith Mallikarachchi and Radhika Hettiarachchi. Hettiarachchi converted 8 tries while Weerakkody put over 5. The solitary try for the losers came just two minutes before the final whistle from Nadun Perera who managed to make the only breakthrough from the tough Kandy defence. At lemons Kandy led 61-nil. Pradeep Fernando officiated the game.


Peterites suffer shock defeat

S. Thomas’, Mt. Lavinia shocked defending league champions St. Peter’s beating them by 22 points (one goal, three tries) to 19 (one goal, three penalties, one drop goal) to win the Archibald trophy after a lapse of two years in their schools rugby fixture played at Mt. Lavinia yesterday. This is the first time the Peterites have lost a league match in two years.
Thomians, playing in their own den clearly had the home advantage. But the Peterites remained as the hot favourites till the last minute of the game. Thomians opened their account within the first quarter of the game when winger Heshan Gunaratne touched down and also added the extra points.

St. Peter’s were quick to equalise. Their center Dilshan Paul crossed the Thomian line and fly half Harsh Weerakkody did the rest to make it 7-all. Seconds before the short whistle Weerakkody converted a penalty to put the Peterites ahead 10-7.

Within the first five minutes of the second half, Thora scrum half Manjith managed a try to put them ahead 12-10. The lack of form of Thomian place kicker Heshan Gunaratne was a marked point throughout the game. Several golden opportunities were missed particularly during the second half.

Another try was scored by Thora flanker Jeewaka Hewawitharana to increase the lead to 17-10. The Peterite place kicker Harsh Weerakkody in contrast scored 12 points off his boot. Till the last thirty seconds of the game Peterites were leading 19 points to 17, but Shevin Kapuwatte’s last minute try sealed the issue in the Thomians favour.

It was a shocking result for the visitors who were beaming with confidence till the last minute of the match. A classy display of top rugby and team work was displayed by both teams and the huge gathering got the right sort of entertainment they were longing to see. The last occasion Thomians beat the Peterites was in 2005 under the captaincy of Namal Rajapakse. – [SKR]


‘Battle of the Mangoosteens’                                                                                                                                  

Malith impresses in drawn game

Malith Chathuranga ended with an impressive all-round performance - a match-bag of 8 wickets for 82 including a five-wicket haul and a fine knock of 59 runs in the second innings for Tissa Central as their 50th annual ‘big match’ against Kalutara Vidyalaya ended in a tame draw at Kalutara yesterday. Continuing from their overnight score of 116 for 4, Kalutara Vidyalaya was bowled out for 183 in 56.5 overs. D. Madhusanka (40) and skipper Isuru Waduge (43) batted sensibly. Tissa’s right-arm off-cutter Chathuranga came up with a five wicket haul (5/55) to restrict the opponents.

In their second essay Tissa Central declared their innings after piling up 191-9 in 68.2 overs. Chathuranga came back with a brilliant knock of 59 greatly supported by Asanka Gihan who chipped in with 37. Samith Priyan took 4 for 62 for Kalutara. Chasing a target of 162 for victory in 14 overs, Kalutara was badly placed at 45 for 5 in 10.5 overs at close of play. Chathuranga captured three wickets conceding 27 runs in the second innings.

Scores: Tissa Central 153 and 191-9 dec. (Malith Chathuranga 59, Asanka Gihan 37, Samith Priyan 4/62)
Kalutara Vidyalaya 116-4 contd 183 (D. Madhushanka 40, Isuru Waduge 43, I. Sashimal 21, Malith Chathuranga 5/55, Asanka Gihan 2/31) and 49-5 at close (I. Dharshana 35, Malith Chathuranga 3/27, Dinesh Chathuranga 2/16) (MNA)


Joes beat Wesley

In a Singer inter-school rugby encounter of Division 1B, St. Joseph’s beat Wesley by 27 points to 10 points at the St. Peter’s grounds, Bambalapitiya yesterday. It was the Wesleyites who opened scoring soon after the first whistle. Centre-forward Ashwin Omar scored a try which was converted by Dilanjan Perera. Soon after Perera was again successful when he made use of a penalty to increase the lead in the first 20 minutes of the game to 10-nil.

After a couple of minutes Josephian flanker Dhananjaya Silva scored a try which was converted by Dilshan Devananda. Devananda and flanker Adrian Hekal added two more unconverted tries to put St. Joseph’s in the lead 17-10 at the breather. In the second half the Wesleyites fought back to gain the momentum in the game but the Josephian’s defended much better to avoid their opponents from scoring any more. Naveen Abeyratne and Devananda invaded the Wesley territory to add 10 more points by two unconverted tries before the game ended. AC Tennakoon refereed the match. (MNA)


Asian Five Nations Rugby                                                                                                                                                    

Hong Kong wins

HONG KONG (AFP) — Hong Kong beat Kazakhstan 23-17 in the Asian Five Nations tournament Saturday, keeping up the pressure on early pacesetters Japan.
The home side ran in three tries to two in hot conditions in the clash amid the city’s skyscrapers.
In the earlier game Saturday, Japan trounced the Arabian Gulf 114-6 for their second win in two matches.