The star studded Kandy Sports Club will go all out to keep their unbeaten record intact in the second round by overcoming the Havelock’s Sports club in their Dialog ‘A’ Division League rugby second round match at Havelock Park today. The kick off is scheduled for 6.30 pm under lights.
If Kandy beat the Havies then they will retain the league title and if Havelock’s win, then they will have to beat Navy SC in their last encounter next week at Welisara to be crowned as the league champions. They last tasted such a success in 2012/13 when they won under the captaincy of ex-Wesley player Terence Henry and the coaching of Samoan Tevita Tulagaese who is affectionately call “Laga” by the rugby loving public in Sri Lanka.
The lads from the hill capital have won their last four matches convincingly against CR & FC (32-27), Navy (50-22), Police (34-23) and Air Force (73-13) and the Havies will have to come up with an extraordinary display if they are to topple the mighty Kandyans.
Upfront a close tussle for supremacy can be expected with both teams possessing some power-packed forwards in Piyumal Manchanayaka, Ganindu Dissanayaka, Gayan Ratnayaka, Soyuru Anthony, Shehan “Lema” Pathirana and Buwaneka Udangamuwa. Kandy has some superb forwards but they will be confronted by equally good forwards of Havelock’s in skipper Dushmantha Priyadarshana “Bodhi”, Jason Meldor, Prasath Madusanka, Ganindu Lakshan, Sharo Fernando and Sudarshana Muthuthantri.
In the set scrums Havies’ Madusanka should get the better of his vis-a-vis Damith Dissanayaka while in the line outs the Kandy trio of Ratnayaka, Anthony and Pathirana will have the edge over the Havies duo of Lakshan and Sharo Fernando.
Kandy SC boasts of a superior back division with skipper Roshan Weeraratne and seasoned campaigner cum ex-Sri Lanka national skipper Fazil Marija having hit it off smoothly while ‘evergreen’ Gayan Weeraratne and Danushka Ranjan have breached the opponents defence time and again with some daring runs.
In the wing they have the services of two powerful runners in Vishvamithra Jayasinghe and sturdily built Richard Dharmapala with Thilina Wijesinghe joining the line to form the overlap as the full back.
The Park club too possesses a fine set of three quarters but it is left to be seen how they will perform against the rock hard Kandy defence. If the halves combination of Sudam Sooriarachchi and Niroshan Fernando clicks they could test the Kandy defence to the hilt as they have some hard runners in Nishone Perera, Chamara Dabare, Dulaj Perera and Hirantha Perera in addition to an attacking full back in Kevin “Kutty” Dixon.
Havelocks SC (Probable XV): Dushmantha Priyadarshana “Bodhi” (Captain), Prasath Madushanka, Jason Melder, Ganindu Lakshan, Janik Jayasuriya, Sharo Fernando, Shenal Deelaka, Sudarshana Muthuthanthri, Sudam Sooriarachchi and Niroshan Fernando, Chamara Dabare, Hirantha Perera, Nishon Perera, Dulaj Perera, Kevin “Kutty” Dixon, Coach: Ronnie Ibrahim
Kandy SC (Probable XV): Piyumal Manchanayaka, Damith Dissanayake, Ganuka Dissanayaka, Shehan Dimitri, Gayan Ratnayake, Shehan “Lema” Pathirana, Soyuru Anthony, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Roshan Weeraratne (captain) or Srinath Sooriyabandara and Fazil Marija, Richard Dharmapala, Gayan Weeraratne, Danushka Ranjan, Vishvamithra Jayasinghe, Thilina Wijesinghe. Head Coach: Shaun Wijesinghe, Assistant Coach: Nalaka Weerakkody.
Referee: Charlie Brown (Singapore).