Visitors CR & FC came from behind in a topsy turvy affair – after trailing 12-8 at half time- to defeat Havelock Sports Club 30-22 in the Dialog Rugby League 2017/2018 game, to regain the Mathysz trophy after a lapse of three years.
CR & FC came into the game following a drubbing at the hands of Navy, while the home team themselves did not have a satisfactory outing last weekend against Police Sport Club.
Havelock Sports Club made three changes as Dulaj Perera returned to the position which has been the Park club’s achilles heel this season, the number 10 jumper. Meanwhile CR were forced into a new locking combinations as Charana Sendanayake missed out due to a minor niggle.
The visitors started on the front foot and were rewarded with points through the boot of returning fly half Tarinda Ratwatte. (Havies 00-03 CR)
However, the hosts leveled proceedings soon after through the boot of Riza Mubarak who returned to fullback, even though the atmosphere and the discipline levels of the hosts plummeted. (Havies 03-03 CR)
The penalty spurred on the home team as Mubarak punished his former side twice with his reliable right foot as the momentum shifted gradually. (Havies 09-03 CR)
The visitors responded through their heavy forward pack as Kokila Hiran crashed from the back of a rumbling maul against the run of play. Tarinda Ratwatte missed from a tough angle as the visitors continued to trail on the scoreboard. (Havies 09-08 CR)
Mubarak kept his 100% kicking success, slotting over from a friendly angle as the home team’s forwards weren’t jittered through the only try of the first half by CR.
Half Time: Havelock SC 12 (4P) lead CR & FC 8 (1T 1P)
Be more relentless was the word at half time and the home team came flying out of the blocks, strengthening their grip on the game making it 5 out of 5 for Mubarak, however, Ratwatte brought things to were it all began in the second stanza with a penalty of his own. (Havies 15-11 CR)
Nalin Kumara was the second try scorer of the game as the the second half took a more lively look at proceedings. A scintillating first phase move of a line out, saw the fullback dive over in the far corner.
Ratwatte matched up to Mubarak with the boot as he added the extras from the far touch line. (Havies 15-18 CR)
The thrust shifted in favour of the visitors this time as they scored their third try through the Schoolboy Rugby Player of the Year award winner Chamod Fernando, in a game that momentum played a major role.
The lead shifted towards the Reds with his score, putting a cushion of ten point in favour of the visitors as the game and trophy both were seemingly out of Havelock’s grasp. (Havies 15-25 CR)
Reliable prop forward Dushmantha Priyadarshana was instrumental and was rewarded with the only try for the home side. Mubarak made no mistake, cutting the deficit to a single score. (Havies 22-25 CR)
Captain Kavindu Perera was deprived of a try as he was deemed to knock on in goal as CR did not look to be moved even though they conceded.
The Red’s captain himself put his hand up in setting up Reeza Raffaideen. Kavindu looked to have gotten the better out of replacement winger Vimukthi Rahula, however, he hung on, making Perera throw a miracle ball. Raffaideen was on hand to pick the loose ball and dive over in the corner.
Ratwatte missed his only kick as the conversion went astray, however, the 8 point lead was sufficient for the visitors to over turn the 5 point loss in the first round to bag the Mathysz trophy after a lapse of three year.
This bonus point victory takes CR to 4th in the table for at least 24 hours with CH & FC yet to play (CH v Army 28th January). (ADD live link Here)
Full Time: Havelock SC 22 (1T 1C 5P) lose to CR & FC 30 (4T 2C 2P)