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Havies keep title hopes alive with impressive win

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 Action from the match between Havelock SC and CH and FC
Action from the match between Havelock SC and CH and FC

Havelock SC kept their title hopes very much alive with a resounding 31-17 victory over CH and FC in their SLR Nippon Paint Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament first-round match played at the Racecourse Grounds in Colombo.

 Action from the match between Navy SC and Army SC

Action from the match between Police SC and Kandy SC

 Action from the match between CR and FC and Air Force SC  
(Pix by Dushmantha Mayadunne)    

The Havies not only won the game by a convincing margin, but they also obtained a bonus point for the second successive week by scoring five splendid tries, which helped them to cut off the deficit from the table leaders Kandy SC.

Their performance was even more significant since four of their five tries were scored in the second half of the game, which means they can absorb enough pressure under different match-situations.

After a tough opening half, the Park Club cut loose in the second half to cross the whitewash on four occasions as they cruised to their fourth successive victory of the tournament.

The Havies will be quite pleased with the form of some of their key players where Randitha Warnapura, Azmeer Fajudeen, Raveen Fernando, Niwanka Prasad and Shean Dias scored a try each.

CR and FC v Air Force

CR and FC powered their way to an impressive 29-24 victory over Air Force SC in another SLR Nippon Paint Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament first-round game played at Ratmalana.

Despite going through some anxious moments during the latter stages of the game, CR and FC will be quite satisfied with their efforts as they were able to collect a vital bonus point as well.

The lads from Longden Place took the initiative as their back division dished out some superb fast open rugby to mesmerise their opponents with four tries in the first half.

The combination of dashing centre three quarter Gemunu Chethiya and full back Mursheed Doray once again proved to be quite decisive as the pair ran circles around the Air Force SC defence with a clinical performance.

With the two place-kickers Chathura Seneviratne and Thenuka Nanayakkara in brilliant form, CR and FC did not have much difficulties in increasing their lead to a great extent.

Air Force SC, of course, made a late comeback in their attempt to make a match of it but by that time CR and FC had done enough damage to emerge victorious.

Police SC v Kandy SC

Kandy SC completed another successful outing as they defeated Police SC 22-12 in their SLR Nippon Paint Inter-Club League Rugby Tournament first-round match played at the Police Park.Even then, Kandy SC will be somewhat disappointed for failing to obtain a vital bonus point for the second successive week, which could turn out to be decisive if they draw level on points against their opponents at some stage of the tournament.

Nevertheless, the defending champions would cherish this win for the moment with two of their stalwarts – Tharinda Ratwatte and Srinath Sooriyabandara exhibiting some superb all-round rugby once again.

In fact, Ratwatte was in the thick of everything as he masterminded Kandy SC’s fifth successive victory by scoring two superb tries and also collecting all the extra points with some excellent place-kicking.

Navy SC v Army SC

Meanwhile, Navy SC and Army SC figured in a high-scoring encounter as the former scraped through 41-30 in a thrilling game that produced as many as 10 tries at Welisara.

Even then, this was a major setback for Army SC, as they started the game as clear favourites following some outstanding performances in the previous matches.

However, the Sailors grabbed this opportunity and played their best game for the current season as they ran down six tries to register their second win of the tournament.

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 – 01:00

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