CR & FC proved to be too strong and too fit as the hosts CH & FC struggled to gain a much-needed win at home in their 2nd-week clash of the Dialog Rugby League played at Racecourse Stadium earlier this evening. The gymkhana club failed to keep up the intensity which they had at the beginning of the second half and had to succumb to a 23-17 loss.
CR & FC opened the scoring in the 3rd minute of the game from a CH move inside their half, with Rohitha Rajapaksa knocking on the ball, allowing Janidu Dilshan to kick through and gather as he went over the line. Riza Mubarak resumed usual proceedings with the boot, adding the extras from under the post. (CH 00 – 07 CR)
CR was also able to take advantage of CH’s mistakes through the boot of Riza Mubarak, who landed an easy penalty to increase their lead a short while later. (CH 00 – 10 CR)
CH responded quickly as their forwards went into their trademark pick and drives as the experienced prop forward Sathya Ranathunga pierced the fragile visiting defense to score an important try for the home team. Arshad Jamaldeen quickly landed the easy conversion. (CH 07 – 10 CR)
CR changed the momentum towards them when Sandun Herath broke the CH defense, gaining more than 40 valuable meters as the tight-five combined for some silky passing and then Mubarak kicked cleverly ahead for Gemunu Chethiya. He gathered the bouncing ball and accelerated up on his outside before leaving Arshad Jamaldeen for dead as he touched down for the red shirts. Mubarak added the extras from close range. (CH 07 – 17 CR)
Half Time – CH & FC 07 (1T,1C) – CR & FC 17 (2T,2C,3P)
CR was hindered with self-inflicted disciplinary errors when Panduka Angammana was sent to the bin for a high tackle and CH responded quickly as their forwards went into a rolling maul. Hooker Prasad Madushanka found himself at the tail of the maul to crash over for the second try for the home side. (CH 12 – 17 CR)
CR managed to claw back some points with a Mubarak penalty as they were still playing with fourteen, extending their lead to 8 points. The hosts quickly regrouped as Sathya Ranathunga powered himself over the line after continuous phases of play from the CH forwards to keep the Colombo 07 Derby alive, however, Avishka Lee missed out on a sitter of a conversion. (CH 17 – 20 CR)
The second half was all about game management for CR as they kept CH at arm’s length while Mubarak yet again punished the gymkhana club from the tee. CH briefly threatened to make it a nervy final few minutes after Kavindu De Costa was shown the yellow card but the CR defense held firm as they ran down the clock.
Full Time – CH & FC 17 (3T,1C) – CR & FC 23 (2T,2C,3P)
Dialog Viu Player of the Match – Riza Mubarak (CR & FC)
Match Referee – Gihan Yatawara
CH & FC: Tries from Sathya Ranathunga(2), Prasad Madushanka and conversion by Arshad Jamaldeen
CR & FC: Tries from and conversion Janidu Dilshan, Gemunu Chethiya Conversions (2) and penalties (3) by Riza Mubarak
Cautions & Send offs:
CR & FC: Panduka Angammana, Kavindu De Costa (Yellow)