Havelock Sports Club managed to win the crucial game in the Dialog Rugby League against arch-rivals CR & FC 31 points to 20 in a game which was played for the ‘Mathysz Trophy’ at Havelock Park.
CR outside half Stephan Sivaraj kicked off this Derby game under lights as CR & FC managed to dominate the early exchanges while Havelocks took a few minutes to settle in.
In the 22nd minute, Havies lost their enforcer Sharo Fernando as he was sent to the sin-bin for a breather while CR took the maximum out of the numerical advantage when the stand-in skipper Omalka Gunarathne overpowered himself to score for the Red shirts after few pick and drives from the CR forwards. Reeza Rafaideen added the extras. (Havies 00- 07 CR)
CR gifted a try to the park club when Sivaraj made a desperate high tackle on Havies skipper Niroshan Fernando near the try line. Referee Priyantha Gunarathne had no option but to award a penalty try.
CR had another setback as Shehan Dias was yellow carded for coming in from the side in a crucial rolling maul near the 5 meters. Havies kicked for touch and surprisingly didn’t use the maul from the line. They opted to use their back by spreading the ball to wider channels quickly with Chamara Dabare powering himself over the CR fullback Kevin Dixon to score an important try in the last move of the first half. Riza Mubarak bisected the uprights from a difficult angle.
Half Time – Havelock SC 14 (2T,2C) – CR & FC 07 (1T,1C)
CR struggled in the lineouts during the first half and it continued in the second half as well as CR lost an attacking lineout and Lasindu Karunathilake managed to collect the loose ball. Dinuk Amarasinghe won a foot race against the tighthead forward Udara Jayasekera and scored the third try for the park club. (Havies 19- 07 CR)
Havies were down to fourteen men when their flanker Umesha Madushan was sent to the bin for a dangerous high tackle as CR & FC was given another opportunity to reduce the deficit. But the Havies defence was on song as they didn’t allow the Red shirts to cross the line.
CR Skipper Gunarathne showcased his brutal power when he played at the Centre position for an attacking lineout and made a massive run through the Havies defense to score under the post. Rafaideen slotted in the easy kick. (Havies 19- 14 CR)
CR continued the momentum as Omalka made a superb offload to Chamod Fernando by drawing in three defenders. Fernando went pass the Havies outside half and gained important meters before making a long cut out pass to the winger Reeza Rafaideen to score in the far corner to bring the game back to a deadlock. (Havies 19- 19 CR)
The talking point of the game arrived in the 68th of play when Lasindu Karunathilake made a punch to the face of Shemal Weerasekara. A shoulder charge from Weerasekara to Karunathilake sparked this incident. Referee Gunarathne after referring the Assistant referees made a blunder when Karunathilake was sent away with a yellow card for a definite red card offence and Gayan Dilshan saw yellow too for the incidents after the punch.
Havies kept their composure as they managed to score two tries in quick succession when Mithun Hapugoda showed few moves of his stepping skills and opened a gap in the CR defense and scored the bonus point try.
Two minutes later the trademark Havies rolling maul went over the line as experienced campaigner Dushamantha Priyadarshana found the whitewash. (Havies 31- 19 CR)
Mithila Perera scored a consolation try in the dying stages of the game but couldn’t prevent the park club from regaining the ‘Mathysz Trophy’.
Full Time – Havelock SC 31 (5T,3C)– CR & FC 24 (4T,2C)
HAVELOCK SC: Tries from Chamara Dabare, Dinuk Amarasinghe, Mithun Hapugoda, Dushamantha Priyadarshana, Penalty try and conversions (3) by Riza Mubarak
CR & FC: Tries from Omalka Gunarathne (2) Mithila Perera, Reeza Rafaideen Conversions (2) by Reeza Rafaideen
Cautions & Sendoffs
Havelock SC: Sharo Fernando, Umesha Madushan, Lasindu Karunathilake (Yellow)
CR & FC: Shehan Dias, Gayan Dilshan (Yellow)