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SL face tough challenge from Malaysia

May 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Yohan Bhasura reporting from Malaysia

Sri Lanka will take on Malaysia in a vital Asian Rugby Championship Division One Tournament fixture in Malaysia on Saturday (20). The match will kick-off at 1.30 p.m (Sri Lanka time).

Marija
File photo of Fazil Marija

 Sri Lanka are faced with a must-win situation if they are to clinch the title but a draw would be sufficient for Malaysia to emerge Asian champions as they are on top of the points table with an extra bonus point.

Sri Lanka failed to collect a bonus point in their match against the Philippines which they won 24-13 but secured a bonus point in the game against the United Arab Emirates (UAE) while winning 33-17.

In contrast, Malaysia had the satisfaction of obtaining a bonus point in both their outings against the UAE (36-22) and the Philippines (40-8) respectively.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka Skipper Roshan Weeraratne said the players are quite confident and are in a good frame of mind ahead of the game against Malaysia.

“I think this will be a very tough game for us. In the past we have lost to Malaysia on several occasions. But this time we have a different game plan to counter-attack the opposition,” said Weeraratne.

However, Sri Lanka will be forced to take the field without their star player Danushka Ranjan who missed the second half of the game against the UAE following a shoulder injury.

Meanwhile, veteran player Fazil Marija will make his final appearance for his country in a 15-a-side international game against Malaysia today (20).

The 31-year-old dynamic scrum half who has represented the country in both formats of the game for over a decade has already announced his retirement from club rugby after the 2017/18 season.

However, Marija said that he will continue to play sevens rugby for his country and for his club Kandy Sports Club in Inter-Club Rugby Tournaments.

The former schoolboy of Kingswood College has represented Sri Lanka in more than 5015-a-side internationals in addition to over 100 seven-a-side matches.

SL record easy win over the UAE

May 17, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Yohan Bhasura reporting from Malaysia

Sri Lanka made it two wins out of two games in the Asian Rugby Championship Division One Tournament after beating the United Arab Emirates (UAE) 33-17 in Malaysia on Wednesday.

Rugby

Sri Lanka’s 33 points came through four tries and three penalties put over by fullback Thilina Wijesinghe, who was also successful with the two conversions.

The UAE fielding a team full of expatriate players managed to collect their points from two goals and a penalty in a game played in searing heat with temperatures rising to 35 degrees celsius.

However, it took Sri Lanka less than a minute to open the scoring with flyhalf Fazil Marija scoring an unconverted try but his opposite number Andrew Stevenson reduced the lead with a fifth-minute penalty.

But Wijesinghe restored the early lead two minutes later when he put over the first of his three penalties.

Five minutes later lock forward Sharo Fernando ran in Sri Lanka’s second try before number eight Glen Moore’s converted try seven minutes later reduced UAE’s deficit to one point.

Outside Centre Danushka Ranjan changed that however, two minutes later when he scored a try which was converted by Wijesinghe.

But the centre was soon off the field after hurting his shoulder. While the extent of the injury was unknown a team official later confirmed that it was not serious.

Wijesinghe put over another penalty in this half to give Sri Lanka an 18-10 lead but Andrew Powell’s injury time converted try made it a one-point game at the break.

However, that was as close as the game got as inside centre Lee Keegal and flanker Jason Dissanayake ran in converted tries which proved to be the only scoring in the second half.

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