Taipei through to Division I in Rugby Asiad thriller
Sri Lanka missed out on a golden opportunity of getting promoted to the top division in the Under 19 Youth Rugby Asiad Division II when they could not find the try line in the last 5 minutes of the game despite of 4 penalties being awarded. In the end Taipei got the better of Sri Lanka by 20 Points (3 Tries, 1 Conversion, 1 Penalty) to 14 Points (1 Try, 3 Penalties) win at Havelock Park yesterday.
At the short breather Taipei led 13-11.
With this win Taipei will move to the Division I in 2013 and play along with some top team in Asia such as Japan, Korea and Hong Kong. Taipei played completely different game compared to the one against Malaysia. Their heavier set of forwards were a constant issue for the Sri Lankan three quarters. The visitors forwards were mobile and lightning fast. On the same department the Lankan forwards were yard slower for the lose ball. They took their time which cost 3-4 turn around balls being awarded for Taipei. On the other hand Taipei fly half Chih Hao Cheng played a superb game dummying most of the time. For the locals, skipper Randika Alwis had a grand game both in attack as well as in defense. Number 8 Arun kumar too supported the forwards at every given opportunity. Nippy scrum half Richard Dharmapala made his mark too.
Taipei drew first blood when the Sri Lanka line was caught off side in the 7th minute of the game. Their fly half Chih Hao Cheng was on target with a kick at goal. A minute later Sri Lanka got a good chance of equalizing but Thisila Karunatilleke did not have power to put over a 40 meter penalty which fell short. Eleven minutes later after series of attacks by Taipei forwards scored through hooker Yu Chi Tsen who went for a push over try. Then Sri Lanka moved in to Taipei half and worked the line beautifully which ended in Full Back Danusha Dayan dashed his way for a try. Hirantha Perera missed to add the extra 2 points.
Six minutes later Sri Lankan fly half Rimzy Jamaldeen’s kick was smothered and Taipei fly half Chih Hao Cheng touched down under the posts. But to the surprise of all he missed the conversion. In the last 5 minutes of the first half Sri Lanka reduced their deficit through back to back Penalties by Hirantha Perera to take “Lemons” at 13-11.
After the turn around Sri Lanka got the lead through the third penalty of the boot of Hirantha Perera but it was short lived. Taipei prop ford not only found the try line but also broke the Lankan supporters’ heart when he went for a push over try. Chih Hao Cheng converted to take 20-14 lead. Last five minutes of the game saw Sri Lankans trying their level best to see the Taipei try line but they failed in the end.
Referee Nik Ramadan
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