Kandy halt marauding Havies
To say that it was a day of upsets would be the understatement of the previous century as the Colombo Rugby Sevens got under way at the CR and FC grounds at Longden Place and at the Royal College Sports complex at Reid Avenue.
Initially it seemed that the Segment ‘A’ teams were continuing from where they had left at the Kandy Sevens. Reigning champions Kandy SC trounced CH and FC by 24 points to 7 and Army thrashed Jawatte Lions by 30 points to nil. The first sign that things could go wrong for the so called top dogs came when Air Force met Police. Police played well in the Kandy Sevens and expected to have a good warm up victory. Instead it was the Airmen who displayed superior skills to defeat the law enforcers by 22 points to 10.After a drop in fortunes for nearly a decade, Havelocks seemed to have got their act together this year. They performed well in Kandy and started off by defeating more fancied CR and FC by 12 points to nil. After lunch Havelocks notched up their second win of the tournament with 24 points to 14 triumph over CH and FC
But the drama really unfolded when Kandy took on arch rivals CR and FC. Over the years any match between these two teams has been fought tooth and nail with neither side willing to give even a millimetre. This match was no exception and it could have gone either way. However, the hosts finally prevailed by 24 points (two goals and two tries) to 19 (two goals and one try). Centres Suranga Pushpakumara and Mohammad Sheriff along with forward S. Niroshan and wing three quarter Mohammad Jabbar touched down for CR and FC. Scrum half Amjad Buksh converted two tries. For Kandy, backs Pradeep Liyanage and Sanjeewa Jayasinghe with forward Imran Bisthimin scored the tries with Saliya Kumara converting two of them.
Later in the evening Kandy bounced back to beat Havelocks by 29 points to 7.
The Segment One Cup quarter final matches will be played today at Longden Place will see Kandy taking on minnows Jawatte Lions, Havelocks locking horns with Police, CR and FC going up against Army and CH and FC playing Air Force.
There are 32 teams taking part in this tournament which ends today. The top eight mentioned above are in Segment One while the other 24 teams are in Segment Two.