By Shamseer Jaleel
Defending league and Clifford Cup champions Kandy kicked off their inter-club rugby season in grand style when they outclassed CH&FC with a 80 points (5 goals, 9 tries ) to 3 points (1 penalty) victory at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium yesterday.
At halftime Kandy led 46-3.
Kandy started off where they left off last year. They were on top of things and a side with ample experience not only at the club level but the majority of their players represented the national team either at the Sevens or Fifteens levels. The home team sported as many as eight replacements to give much-needed exposure to their youngsters. They settled well and played cohesive rugby from the tenth minute onwards. Their skipper and fly half Fazil Marija worked their three quarter line at every given opportunity. Kandy was playing without Richard Dharmapala and Shehan Pathirana.
CH&FC scored first through a 30-meter penalty by full back Janith Chandimal. That was the only successful scoring opportunity for the Colombo side. Kandy started to dominate through Prop Dimithri Wijetunge’s try. Roshan Weeraratne added the two points. Two minutes later flanker Heshan Kalhara touched down. Then came two tries from hooker Damith Dissanayake. Five minutes later Gayan Weeraratne scored consecutive tries. Fazil Marija and Roshan Weerarante’s try took Kandy to lemons at 46-3. Out of eight tries three were converted by scrum half Roshan Weeraratne.
After the turnaround Kandy scored tries through Winger Lavanga Perera, Fullback Nigel Ratwatte, Thilina Wijesinghe, Oshan Perera, Gayan Ratnayake and Kisho Jehan. Two of the try conversions were made by Arshard Jamaldeen. Kandy will next host Air Force on 29 November.
Referee - Rohan Fernando
Touch judges - Asela Muthumala and Priyantha Gunaratne
Match Commisoner-Tuan Dole