CR & FC advanced to the semi-finals of the Caltex Clifford Cup Knock-Out rugby tournament when they got the better of their arch rivals CH & FC by 32 Points (1 Goal, 5 Tries) to 13 Points (1 Goal, 2 Penalties) win at the Royal Sports Complex yesterday.At the short breather it was the winners who led 5-3. Once there were ugly incidents deep into the second half this time it was the players turn.
It was Dinushka Perera who manhandled one of the CH & FC players and was Red Carded.
CR&FC full back Reza Mubarak slips a tackle past his opponent Indika Wickremanayake. – Pic by Sanka Vidanagama.
CH & FC played better rugby in the initial half. Their forwards were spearheaded by their skipper and pack leader Dinesh Sanjeewa and Sathya Runathunge. They lacked the finishing touches but in most cases. The good ball won by the forwards were not used well by their three quarters. CR & FC on their part had a poor first half taking too much time to settle down with several basic errors.
In the end it was the CH & FC who won many hearts in the steamy evening at Royal Complex for their never-say-die attitude after losing more than 13 players to other leading clubs this season.
It was CH & FC who opened the scoring through their reliable full back Indika Wickramanayke who was on target with a Penalty kick. Five minutes later CR & FC winger Vishwamithra Jayasinghe who had a grand game dashed through the left corner flag to score an unconverted try to take 5-3 lead at half time.
Soon after the turn around it was CH & FC skipper Dinesh Sanjeewa who collected a loose ball to score under the posts. Full back Indika Wickramanayke added the extra points to take the lead 10-5 favouring CH.
But Vishwamithra Jayasinghe was in electrifying speed to touch down his second try. Nigel Ratwatte missed the difficult conversion.
A few minutes later CR & FC’s other winger Dinushka Chathuranga got his turn of scoring to take CR in to 15-10 lead. Kick at goal was missed by Nigel.
Indrajith Wickramanayake of CH reduced the deficit through a 40 meter penalty. But it was short lived as Nigel powered his way to score. Replacement scrum half Srinath Sooriyabandara scored the next try with Nigel converting to take a clear lead 27-13.
Then came the hat-trick for CR winger when Vishwamithra Jayasinghe danced his way to score and seal victory for the “Red Shirts” 32-13. CR & FC flanker Dinushka Perera was Red Carded for unwarranted play on Duminda Abeysekera almost man handling.
The best part was he was seen walking off even before the referee gave the Red Card. He was seen on the bench afterwards. When a player is “Red Carded he needs to go out of the ground Immediatley. There were four yellow cards and a Red card by the referee Irshad Carder who had an off day. The semi finals will be played on 24 July between Kandy SC and Air Force at Bogambara. On the same day CR & FC will take on today’s winners between Navy and Army.