Sailors pip Army at post
Last minute heroics condemned Army SC to their third successive defeat in as many games, as they lost 19-14 to Navy SC in the Dialog Rugby League ‘A’ Division game played at Police Park yesterday. With the scores level at 14all, following a passage of ‘pingpong’ rugby where both teams pushed for a win, Army SC’s otherwise resolute defence gave way as Navy SC centre Dinusha Fernando cut through to score the decisive try in injury time. The game, which was moved from the Army Grounds in Diyagama to Police Park apparently due to a water-logged pitch, was as even as it could get, though Army did have better exchanges and perhaps were hard-done not to win, having had significant control in the first half.
Coming into the game having lost their first two games by the closest margins – by two against CR & FC and three against Havelock SC – Army were the first on the score sheet when Upali Wickramasinghe put over a penalty in the second minute. Navy SC pulled level 10 minutes later when fly-half Dev Anand put over a penalty, and then took the lead two minutes later in identical fashion. Army then took the lead again, when Thusitha Senanayake benefited from some sloppy goal-line defending by Navy, who conceded penalty after penalty, to score in the corner, though the conversion was missed. They then added three points to that score when Upali Wickramasinghe fired across a second penalty in the 31st minute to give his team a 11-6 half-time lead.
Navy then scored their first try in the first minute of the second half when their Fijian import Setefano Cokgunivalu burst through but the ensuing conversion was missed. Midway through the half, Navy took the lead again when Ratutaniela Maravuna Wagawaso found himself in front of goal, nailing the drop kick attempt. The game opened up thereafter with both teams running hard at the opposition and defending aggressively. For a ten minute spell, possession changed hands quickly and tackles became more primitive.
But soon after that died down Army were awarded a penalty which full-back Salinda Ekanayake put over and should have given them their first league points of the season, but some points became no points when Dinusha Fernando scored the final, unconverted try in virtually the last move of the game.
- By Shehan Daniel