Hapugoda magic bails out Havies | Sunday Observer

Hapugoda magic bails out Havies

CR and FC winger Reza Refaideen breaks through a tackle against Havelocks in their Dialog Super Round rugby match at Havelock Park yesterday. Havelocks won the match 21-14 (Picture by Saman Mendis)
CR and FC winger Reza Refaideen breaks through a tackle against Havelocks in their Dialog Super Round rugby match at Havelock Park yesterday. Havelocks won the match 21-14 (Picture by Saman Mendis)

It had to be another Mithun Hapugoda magic performance that gave Havelocks another win over arch rivals CR and FC in a Dialog Super Round league rugby encounter played at Havelock Park yesterday.

The final scores were 21 points (3 tries, 3 conversions) for Havelocks to 14 points (2 tries, 2 conversion) by CR.

Hapugoda scored two tries when it was most needed to give the home team the much needed victory. He had done this before as well when Havelocks were on the verge of losing.

However, Hapugoda also did something against his conscience and was sent to the sin-bin during the last ten minutes of the game.

Havelocks once again were not at their best and made many handling errors. Had this not happened they should have ended up scoring more points through a few more tries.

CR too were not at their usual with only a few players trying hard with their untiring loose play. They were number eight Omalka Gunaratne, Joel Perera, who came in later, and Harith Bandara who made some penetrative runs. Gemunu Chethiya also had a few good runs and at one time he picked up the ball in a loose maul and cleverly went on the blind side to score a try.

Havelocks opened scoring in the eighth minute when skipper Niroshan Fernando made a break and sent Dheekshana Dassanayake over to score past a defender.

Riza Mubarak found the target from a difficult angle to obtain full points.

CR struck back ten minutes later when Gemunu Chethiya scored after Harith Bandara had covered over 30 metres to go closer to the goal line.

Tharinda Ratwatte converted to equalize.

Mubarak attempted a kick at goal from a penalty but it missed the target and Havelocks failed to take the lead at half time.

Havelocks had a good chance to score a try but Chamara Dabare fluffed with the collection to a kick ahead over the line.

Then came the magic of Hapugoda who was brought in as scrum half early in the second half. He spotted a gap after winning a loose maul and barged over in the 47th minute.

Ten minutes later Hapugoda scored again when he picked up the ball from the base of a loose maul and went through a gap to score.

Mubarak had no difficulty in converting both tries and Havelocks took the lead to 21-7.

But with time fading away CR scored a try in the 74th minute when centre Kavindu Perera received the ball after winning a loose maul and cut in to find the gap and go through.

Stephen Sivaraj converted easily but time ran out for CR.

Charlie Brown from Singapore refereed.

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