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DateLine Sunday, 19 August 2007

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Kandy clinch Rugby Double with 16-5 win in Clifford Cup final

RUGBY: Kandy Sports Club not only regained the Caltex Clifford Cup but also completed the rugby double when they scored a rousing 16 points (2 tries, 1 penalty, 1 drop goal) to 5 (1 try) win over CR and FC in the finals of the Clifford Cup rugby tournament match played before a large crowd at Nittawela yesterday. At half time scores stood deadlocked at 5 all.

The first half was completely dominated by the Red Shirts. It was lack of finish to their moves which prevented them from running up a good score.

But there was a complete transformation of play after the turn around with Kandy putting power and aggression into their play which rattled the Red Shirts and this resulted in them making many errors and going for the man than the ball. Referee had to time and again warn the Red Shirts for dangerous play and one of them had to be sent on 'Sin Bin'.

After applying pressure right from the kick off CR and FC kept the score board moving when full back Radhika Hettiarachchi carried the ball for some distance and off loaded to winger Ravindra Wekadapola who went over far left. That was in the 10th minute. Hooker Senthil Kumar failed with a difficult kick at goal. CR led 5-0.

This turned out to be the only scoring for CR in the match.

In the 22nd minute Kandy could have scored but a forward pass from centre Pradeep Liyanage to Nalaka Weerakoddy put an end to this move.

In the 28th minute a 35 metre penalty awarded in front for Kandy was fluffed by Nalaka Weerakoddy and Kandy once again lost an opportunity of opening their account.

In the 30th minute CR almost scored when Nalaka Weerakoddy failed to gather the ball and hooker Senthil Kumar pounced on the loose ball over the line but the referee declared it was a knock forward.

Just before the short blast Kandy won a line out inside CR territory through flanker Imran Bisthamin who sent a quick pass to scrum half Saliya Kumara who went along the blind side and sprinted away to touch down near the right post. Nalaka Weerakoddy failed to add the extra points. (5-all)

CR and FC never tried to come back into the game with constructive play. They were rattled and they could not produce the aggression and power of the first half as they slowly waned as the game went into its final stages.

In the 30th minute Nalaka Weerakoddy fired a 35 metre penalty to put Kandy ahead for the first time. Kandy 8-5.

In the 35th minute Nalaka Weerakoddy executed a 35 metre drop goal for Kandy to increase their lead to 11-5.

In the 38th minute of play Kandy forged further ahead when winger Mohomed Jabbar who replaced Sameera Silva collected a pass from centre Pradeep Liyanage and scored near the right post. But full back Nalaka Weerakoddy failed to add the extra points and Kandy ran out winners by 16 points to 5.

Orville Fernando refereed.

 

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