On Saturday Roshan Weeraratne and his merrymen did Kandy Sports Club proud by beating CR & FC in their inter-club second round rugby match at Longden Place. Here’s a quick look at one of the big talking moments from the game. One is how Kandy S.C. played in the first half and the other was the delaying of decisions by the TMO.
In this game referee Dinka Peries who did a good job with the whistle, had a few doubts in some decisions and he consulted the TMO, whoever it was failed to offer the advice and result in time and due to this delay the play got messed up. It was a dragging and delayed affair in decision-making. Nearly 22 minutes of play was lost, but the referee made up for the lost time and covered it up which led to a dragging affair for the players. Most of the rugby lovers were not in a position to enjoy the game due to this error. The TMO should be handled by people who know how to operate it. There have been incidents in the past where similar incidents have occurred. One hopes the people responsible have learnt from their mistakes and should not allow a repetition of it. If there is no proper equipment they should not have it in play.
Minutes before the kick-off one of CR & FC’s former player Shah Doole, Sri Lanka’s rugby representative in USA’s West Coast was introduced to the two teams by CR & FC president Ravi Gunaratne. Dole learnt his rugby at Trinity College and later played for the Red shirts and the country as a top class fly half. A big hand should go to secretary Hamza Hassanally and his team for a superb job in match arrangements.
The run of play in this game was vastly different to previous affairs by the winners, especially in the first half. With team spirit high after the two teams hard work, it was a hotly contested first half which ended with Kandy SC 17-0 in front at the break and the winners brought real experience to a well-drilled unit enjoying a good amount of early possession through some great work on the ground by Roshan Weeraratne and Arshad Jamaldeen who were instrumental in presenting some good rugby.
From the kick off, it was a hard fight, but Kandy ruggerites were full of confidence in beating a talented Longden Place club. After the restart CR & FC held on to the ball brilliantly, opening up space for the backs to race through to score. Perhaps the toughest test of the day came from the winning team’s forwards. Some outstanding defence from the Red shirts saw them limit the opponent’s ball handling in the last quarter of the second half. The CR & FC XV failed to wake up in time, they should take the blame for the errors, and if not for them they had every chance of pulling off the game. They superbly finished the last quarter and got the crowd on their feet. The Red shirted unit worked hard with each other to score a couple of tries. Despite this, Kandy regrouped and a ruthless second half performance saw they go through with a hard-fought win. Whatever said and done Kandy tacklers rediscovered their ruthless streak and began to dominate with some good loose play. They know how to end a game with a win. Anyway CR & FC made it harder than what the result showed.
As the game moved on their tiredness was there for all to see however, some astute rotation enabled them to get the best out of the players who all made fantastic contributions to provide Kandy with a well-deserved victory.
Kandy will now be looking forward to next Sunday’s game against Navy SC which will be played at Nittawela. Kandy will go all out do well and redeem the damage after the shock defeat in the first round.