The Sri Lanka Super 7’s concluded late last evening with the EZY Wolves taking the victory in the 2nd leg beating the overall champions the Mobitel Eagles who suffered just 2 losses over the course of the two weeks.
The Eagles earned their slot in a second successive final after picking up a 17-12 win in the quarter final against the Access Kings before beating the Etisalat Panthers in the semi-finals 33-24. The EZY Wolves paved their way to the final after beating Softlogic Warriors 24-12 in the quarter-finals and then the Cargills Gladiators 17-10 in the semi-finals.
The Wolves led by the former Sri Lanka and Havelocks captain Sudarshana Muthuthantri came with some vengeance in to the finals. An early try by the Kenyan speedster Nelson Oyoo made it look a perfect start for the Wolves. The Eagles replied through an unconverted try off the restart through the Fijian Joseva Bilo Green. The two star studded sides put on a thrilling opening stanza while the Wolves looked the better side as they kept the champions pinned in their own half.
The Eagles were put under immense pressure when Mohommad Absal was sent to the bin midway through the first half and the Wolves used the numerical advantage to send Dinusha Chathuranga over in the corner to extend their lead to 14-05. However, the Eagles closed the deficit on the stroke of half time with another try.
HT: EZY Wolves 14 – Mobitel Eagles 12
In an intense second half, the EZY Wolves extended their lead to 7 points early on, when Sashan Mohamed ran in an unconverted try before the Kenyan Nelson Oyoo struck the defining blow with his second try of the final. Eagles could not trouble the score board as the Wolves dominated the second half. Coach Sudath Sampath of the Wolves used both their Kenyan players as center and in the wing to cut off the speedster Anurudda Wilwara scoring for the Eagles which ultimately became a smart-move for the Wolves. The Kenyan captain Andrew Amande came late in the second half which helped the winners to muscle their defense with his experience and physical power.
Eagles coach Nilfer Ibrahim had his most outstanding players Martin Losefo and the dynamic Fijian center Jonny Nasola (now Malaysian National) in form but did not have the best 14 minutes which allowed the Wolves to hold on for a win.
FT: EZY Wolves 26 – Mobitel Eagles 12
Sudarshana Muthuthantri (Ezy Wolves) was awarded the most outstanding player of the tournament by the Sri Lanka Rugby (SLR).
The Etisalat Panthers after a thrilling semi-final were relegated to the plate final to face the Cargills Gladiators in a repeat of last weekend’s shield final.
The Panthers got off to a flying start with Fazil Marija scoring an early try followed by some individual brilliance from Sri Lanka’s 7’s superstar Srinath Sooriyabandara who went coast to coast to score under the posts. They went on to add a further seven points before the break with Sevuloni Lutu scoring which he converted himself.
The second half however, was much more competitive as Gladiators opened their account in the second half with a converted try by Gayan Weerarathne. As the Panthers absorbed the pressure from the Gladiators and replied with a brilliant counter attacking try by young star Naveen Henakankanamge. The Gladiators fought till the very end scoring two quick tries to close the deficit to just 3 points but Panthers held on to the lead and wound out the clock to take 3rd place.
FT: Etisalat Panthers 22 – Cargills Gladiators 19
The Softlogic Warriors and Access Kings who finished second and third last weekend were relegated to the bowl final this week and the Warriors were the first to get on the board through a try from Lafela Vaa. But the rest of the second half was dominated by Kings. They managed to score 3 tries by Jone Vota, Skipper Dhanush Dayan and Lavanga Perera.
The Kings extended their lead through another two tries by Abele Atunasia and Jone Vota early on in the second half. TheWarriors had a late burst with two tries through Lafela Vaa and Nishon Perera but it was too little too late for them. Abele Atunasia finished off the match with another try for the Kings which gave them a handsome win in Bowl Finals.
FT: Access Kings 36 – Softlogic Warriors 19
In the Shield final, the Vipers started off the first half in fine fashion with two tries coming from Kavindu Costa and Lahiru Lakshan. Thilina Weerasinghe drew back the deficit for the Dragons with a try but just before the half time Lahiru went over the line for the second time to put the Vipers further ahead in the game.
The second half saw the Dragons come back into the game with Charith Senevirathne going over the line early on. Vipers once again extended their lead with a converted try by Mekalanga Pramod which took the game away from Dragons. Before the final whistle Asitha Punchihewa scored a conciliation try for Dragons but the Vipers took the win by 28 points to 19
Full Time : Walkers CML Vipers 28 – KBSL Dragons 19
Final Standings Franchise after 2nd Leg
Place Team Points
1 SLT Mobitel Eagles 55
2 EZY Wolves 43
3 Softlogic Warriors 34
3 Access Kings 34
5 Etisalat Panthers 26
6 Walkers CML Vipers 22
7 Cargills Gladiators 18
8 KBSL Dragons 10