Navy vs. Kandy the pick of the week

Friday, 21 November 2014 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Without any doubt, the game between Kandy and Navy will take pride of place this week. The teams are occupying the top two slots after three weeks of rugby. Kandy and Navy had scored 18 tries each with the difference being the number of conversions that Navy made. Kandy had a horror start when they lost to a gallant Army side which has been somewhat of a surprise package this season. Despite the pre-season hype surrounding Kandy’s new star players and the return of their former coach, they have not fired on all cylinders. Last week they were almost beaten by a wounded Havies side smarting after a defeat at the hands of CR but were saved by the stupidity of one man and the ingenuity of another in the dying moments of the game. Definitely a lesson to all, that the game is not over till the final whistle is blown and that you must think on your feet for the entire duration of the game. Kandy may have to rethink their game plan going forward as the amount of kicking that is being undertaken may now be excessive. While Navy has been unbeaten thus far, they have had their share of problems as they looked quite vulnerable against a concerted CR assault in the second half. When the opposition took quick taps they looked all at sea and on many occasions conceded an extra ten metres by failing to retreat on time. Some of the imports into Navy this year have not lived up to expectations and have been a shadow of what they could actually deliver. It could be a result of them being unable to jell as a cohesive unit and the difference in the style of play of Navy. As much as it is difficult to win against Kandy at Nittawela it is difficult to win against Navy at Welisara, given the large number of vocal and raucous supporters. Kandy will no doubt come with their doting fans and keeping them apart from the Navy supporters would be an idea worth exploring given past incidents. The fact that Army occupies the fourth spot in the table is testimony to their style and quality of play. They must be ruing their loss to CR when they had the match in their pocket for most of the game until they lost the plot in the last quarter. They meet Air Force, who have decided that they will field only local talent and are at the bottom of the heap. What they plan to get out of competing at this level without adequate talent without any firepower is anyone’s guess. Havies will need to be sharp as CH is capable of spoiling the party on their day. Another loss for Havies and they could kiss their hopes of league glory goodbye in their centenary year. As of now, as is the case with some of the other clubs, they have lost key players due to a lack of cash that is required to retain the best and a poor showing this season will relegate them to the doldrums. However, last week’s performance against Kandy in the lions’ den must be heart-warming and all their supporters will be hoping for an improved performance this week. (The writer can be reached via email [email protected])

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