Ratwatte the toast of CR | Sunday Observer

Ratwatte the toast of CR

CR flanker Joel Perera attempts to break through a tackle by the Navy defence in their Dialog League match at Welisara yesterday (Picture by Saman Mendis)
CR flanker Joel Perera attempts to break through a tackle by the Navy defence in their Dialog League match at Welisara yesterday (Picture by Saman Mendis)

Place kicker Tharinda Ratwatte played the match winning role for CR and FC by contributing 21 points through penalties in their Dialog Premier League rugby encounter against Navy SC played at Welisara yesterday.

The red shirts ended up with 28 points to 22 points by Navy SC who scored as many as three tries but ended up on the losing side. CR could score only one try and one conversion but Ratwatte put over seven penalties to give them victory through good team work.

Though the sailors scored three tries they had their sails turned towards the wrong direction this time. Their place kicker Thilina Weerasinghe could not read the wind direction and kept on missing kicks at goal through penalties early in the game. Had he kicked right on several occasions Navy could have ended up on the winning side. Sadly however, fortunes favoured the red shirted lads who played well even when they were down to just 12 players with three of their players being yellow carded.

It was Navy who scored first in the seventh minute when the ball was hacked into the CR goal area where Ratwatte failed to collect the ball cleanly and Radeesha Seneviratne pounced on the ball to touch down.

Weerasinghe put over the simple conversion and Navy led 7-0.

Three minutes later CR reduced the lead when they earned a penalty and Ratwatte kicked right from 35 metres out.

Navy went ahead again five minutes later when Thilina Weerasinghe put over a 35 metre straight penalty to give them a 10 points to 3 lead.

Thereafter it was CR who increased on the lead when Ratwatte put over four consecutive penalties within 15 minutes to take a two-point lead.

Then it was Navy’s turn to score and in the 36th minute Nirosh Perera put the finishing touches to an excellent move that began in their own 30 metre mark. Weerasinghe missed with the conversion but Navy went ahead 15-12.

But CR did not give up and when in Navy territory they charged on the loose ball after a clearance by Navy was missed and Mithila Perera put the finishing touches with a try.

Ratwatte once again kicked right and CR took the lead 19-15 just at half time.

The second half was just one minute old when Navy was awarded a penalty but Weerasinghe failed to convert once again.

CR were soon reduced to just 12 players with three yellow cards on key players. However, they managed to keep the pressure on Navy by winning possession most of the time. Even in the lines out CR did well to win possession from the Navy throw-ins.

CR were awarded a penalty again in the 55th minute and Ratwatte had an easy 22 metre kick.

Ratwatte had another easy 22 metre penalty kick at goal and CR increased their score to 25 points to 15 by Navy.

Navy stormed back into CR territory with a sequence of moves and Nirosh Perera put the finishing touches under the post. Radika Seneviratne converted and Navy were only three points behind. With the game nearing its end CR increased on the lead again with Ratwatte put over another easy penalty to finish with 28 points.

Aaqil Jamaldeen refereed

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