Havelock Sports Club managed to win a crucial game in the Super Round of the Dialog Rugby League against rivals CR & FC 21 points to 14 in an untidy game which was played at Havelock Park.
Riza Mubarak kick-started the Cup segment of the super round as CR aimed at creating a huge by beating the League leaders Havelock SC, while the Havies were determined to cement their top position in the points table and go one step closer to closing out the League Championship for 2018/19.
The Havies dominated and controlled the game in the first ten minutes but CR managed to turn over the ball at crucial breakdowns. Havies finally broke through the CR defense when skipper Niroshan Fernando found some space through the CR line and offloaded to the youngster Theekshana Dassanayake. The quick-footed Dassanayake demolished the CR defense and scored under the sticks. Experienced campaigner Mubarak added the extras for the Park club to make it a perfect 7. (Havies 07-00 CR)
CR replied to the early try which they conceded when former Josephian Gemunu Chethiya managed to draw two Havelock defenders towards him and opened up space for Harith Bandara to gain valuable meters as he was brought down near the 22-meter line. Chethiya who ran in a good supporting line, collected the ball and spotted an opening on the blind side. He managed to score an easy try for the Red shirts, going over almost uncontested. Tharinda Ratwatte bisected the uprights from a tough angle to equalize the game. (Havies 07-07 CR)
The game slowed down due to a few injuries and handling errors while the Havies struggled to put points on the board as their rolling maul was stopped at crucial junctures of the game by the Red Shirts. The Longdon place side went into half time as the happier camp while the Havies lost a couple of front row players to injuries during the first half.
Half Time – Havelock SC 07 (1T,1C) – CR & FC 07 (1T,1C)
Havies finally managed to break through the CR defenses as Lasindu Karunathilake went through the CR line but was brought down near the try line.The little magician Mithun Hapugoda snuck in with a dummy and scored for the Park club. Mubarak bisected the uprights with ease to increase their lead. (Havies 14- 07 CR)
CR lost their outside half Stephan Sivaraj and 5 minutes later Scrum half Harith Bandara as both players were sent to the bin for continuous infringements in the breakdown by referee Charlie Brown. Havies made the maximum out of the numerical advantage they had when their forwards slowly inched towards the whitewash as Hapugoda, the man who changed the game last week against Kandy, managed to score his second try of this game, giving his team a healthy lead. Mubarak continued with his good kicking form as he slotted in the conversion. (Havies 21 – 07 CR)
Hapugoda was having another super game but was yellow carded later in the half for unacceptable back-talk to the assistant referee as CR were given a lifeline in this tight game. CR grabbed the opportunity when Stephan Sivaraj made a long cutout pass to his skipper Kavindu Perera and a quick step in from the skipper was good enough for him to go over the line and score an important try. Sivaraj reduced the deficit further with his conversion. (Havies 21- 14CR)
The late comeback by CR was not good enough as the Havies managed to hold on to their lead and clinch an important win in the Super Round.
Full Time – Havelock SC 21 (3T,3C)– CR & FC 14 (2T,2C)
HAVELOCK SC: Tries from Theekshana Dassanayake, Mithun Hapugoda (2) and conversions (3) by Riza Mubarak
CR & FC: Tries from Gemunu Chethiya, Kavindu Perera Conversions by Tharinda Ratwatte and Stephan Sivaraj