Sri Lanka clinch Under-18 Asian rugby title in Taipei

Monday, 29 August 2016 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


By Shamseer Jaleel

Sri Lanka won the second leg of the Asian Rugby Under-18 Men’s Sevens tournament held in Taipei yesterday when they got the better of the hosts 10-5, in a tense grand final which was played in wet conditions. 

Sri Lanka, who were the Plate champions during the first leg in Hong Kong, had an advantage as three leading teams - Japan, Hong Kong and South Korea - pulled out of the second leg.

In the finals against Taipei, Sri Lanka went into halftime trailing 5-0. Sri Lanka lost Josephian Chathura Seneviratne, who was sin binned during the earlier stages of the game, giving Taipei a one-man advantage. 

The Sri Lankan outfit, led by Naveen Heenakankanmge, came back strongly in the second half, equalising through Chamod Fernando. In the last two minutes of the game, Taipei kept searching for the try line but Sri Lanka defended well.

 Taipei often opted to kick instead of pass and frequently gave away possession. 

Taking advantage of this situation, Sri Lankan player Chathura Senevitatne covered almost the entire 100 meters of the playing field to score the winning try in the last minute of the game.

Sri Lanka yesterday beat both Taipei and Philippines by a score of 19-14 during their group encounters. Philippines edged out Singapore 14-10 to win the Plate while China accounted for the Bowl when they outclassed UAE 47-0.

 The final rankings were:

1)    Sri Lanka

2)    Taipei

3)    Philippines

4)    Singapore

5)    China

6)    UAE