30 - 0 win for the home team in World Cup qualifier
Lankan wall too great for China
By Harry Jayachandra
It was like sheep folding up in the face of an onslaught by lions
at Longden Place yesterday. Sri Lanka demolished China by 30 points
(2 goals, 2 tries and 2 penalties) to nil in their Asian zone qualifying
match for the Rugby World Cup 2007.
the pre hype of the match being a tough game for the home side was
thrown out of the ground within the first 20 minutes. China kicked
off. Lanka’s left lock Senaka Bandara collected cleanly and
sent his backs on the way. China infringed and a penalty was awarded.
Flanker Sean Wijesinghe took a quick tap which caught the visitors
by surprise and Wijesinghe touched down easily by the left corner
flag. Full back Ajith Silva made no mistake with the conversion.
This set the tone for the game. The home side dominated in all parts
of the game and the score line is indeed misleading. It could easily
have been half a century or more.
going up against a heavier pack, Sri Lanka won the majority of the
set pieces even against the head. Chinese Manager Wei Rizhi attributed
his sides defeat to heat and the fact that they had many new faces.
But that was no excuse for the miserable performance they put in
which also surprised Lankan Skipper Sajith Mallikarachchi.
home side on their part played like their lives depended on the
outcome except for injury time in the first half and the start of
the second half. That was when China made a feeble attempt at a
comeback. It was a refreshing team performance from the Lankans,
with the forwards winning the ball and backs making good use of
the 15 minute Sri Lanka were awarded a penalty in front of the posts.
Silva obliged with the conversion. In the 20th minute the Lankans
won a scrum and half back Amjad Buksh touched down for an unconverted
try. Silva out over yet another penalty. Sri Lanka 18 – 0
at lemons. It took the home side just 12 minutes after the interval
to seal the game. A bad pass resulted in Sri Lanka intercepting
for lock Anuradha Dharmathilaka to touch down under the posts. Silva
converted. Stand off Asanga Rodrigo put the finishing touches after
a fine backline move. This time Silva missed the conversion.
delighted Mallikarachchi admitted that they had not expected it
to be so easy, but was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We had the edge because we have trained under these conditions
for some months. Also the team is very united. We are like a family
and our commitment on the field is 100 percent. Hong Kong will be
tougher because they have quite a few foreigners playing for them.
However, I think our coach George (Simpkin) will give us a good
game plan to combat them,” he said.
in all it was a glorious day for all Lankan rugby lovers and even
ardent cricket followers with the Percy making his presence known.