Navy made easy work of a CR team in disarray, winning 34-18 and moving up to second place for 24 hours (Havelock SC have a game in hand) on the Dialog Rugby League table as pressure mounts on Havelock Sport Club.
Prop forward Charith Silva and winger Buddima Piyarathne were back in the starting lineup for the home team while Charana, Gayan, Shemal and Sashan, were all reinstated to the CR starting XV on a sunny evening at Welisara.
The game began in bright fashion for both teams, however, opportunities were squandered by either side until the home side made the first breakthrough.
Captain Danushka Perera was the first to breach the CR defense as he picked through the ruck and managed to dot down even though he failed with a similar opportunity minutes before. The flanker spotted a hole through the heart of a ruck to open the scoring.
Thilina made his first contribution with the boot as he slotted over with ease from beside the post to make it a complete 7. (Navy 07-00 CR)
Even though the first score took 25 minutes to come, both teams traded penalties through Thilina and Riza Rafaideen within the next 10 minutes as Navy extended their lead and the visitors cut the deficit by three. (Navy 10-03 CR)
CR looked to exploit the edge on the Navy defense, but the hosts drift defense worked wonders to keep CR try less in the first half.
The visitors thought they were going into the break with a 7 point deficit, however, some splendid quick hands saw Thilina Weerasinghe dive over in the far corner to double the lead to 14 points as he converted his own try on the stroke of half time.
Half Time : Navy SC 17 (2T 2C 1P) lead CR & FC 03 (1P)
Even though CR had a mountain to climb in the second stanza, Riza Rafaideen missed a straightforward shot at goal as Navy were given an early reprieve at the beginning of the second half.
Tarinda Ratwatta came on and slotted over a penalty to shave the home sides lead, however, a silly penalty off the restart saw Thilina cancel out the three points, keeping the 14-point lead intact. (Navy 20-06 CR)
The next restart saw Navy run the ball from inside their own half to stun the visitors and score a converted try. Abzal started a scintillating run, setting off Supun Dilshan. The young winger found support and kept the ball alive.
The next phase saw the hosts spread the ball wide and a stunning final palm-off pass saw Thilina benefit, diving over in the near corner. He himself converted to take the home team’s lead past 20 points. (Navy 27-06 CR)
In similar fashion to the first game between these two sides, CR made a mad dash in the final 15 minutes as the visitors scored twice to unsettle the home faithful.
Kokila Sammaddaperuma was the first to dive over from the tail of a rumbling maul. Ratwatta converted to add some life into a substandard CR outfit.
Minutes late Sashan Mohamed found himself diving over to score, making it a 9-point game with the kick to come, however, Ratwatta missed from out wide as the 9 point lead was intact. (Navy 27-18 CR)
CR staged one final attack but turned over possession and paid the price of conceding Navy the four try bonus point.
Dulanjana Wijesinghe came on with a heavily strapped right knee with minutes left in the game. The Hooker found himself at the end of turnover ball and made a trademark charge to the try line, dotting down to register the much sort after bonus point.
Thilina converted to keep his 100% record with the boot intact in the game as referee Aaquil Jamaldeen brought an end to proceedings.
Full Time: Navy SC 34 (4T 4C 2P) Beat CR & FC 18 (2T 1C 2P)