TUSKERS WINLESS IN ASIAN 5 NATIONS!
Sri Lanka Rugby team met Philippines as their final match of the Asian 5 Nations Top 5 today(17) at Colombo Racecourse. However, Undisciplined play in the final seconds cost Sri Lanka to experience a bitter conclusion for the campaign. Two Fijians Nagae Joseph Dunn and Waqavulagi Emori earn Sri Lanka national birth today. Partially both played as wingers .
Sri Lanka took a great start to soon after the kickoff to take the early lead against Philippines with a successful penalty kick of Nuwan Hettiarachchi in the first minute.
Philippines were not seen in their usual pace today who were struggled from the start to keep the momentum. However, in 22nd minute Volcanoes forwards undone Tuskers defense to score their first try to take the lead (07-03) 2 minutes later, the Sri Lankan fly half Fazil break in to the right corner of the try line to take back Tuskers to the lead. Nuwan Hettiarachchi made no mistake to add two points from the 22 meter line at right far corner. (10-07)
The young center Dhanushka Ranjan performed a promising display to run a 45 meter distance to score Sri Lankans 2nd try to right far corner of the Phils territory. It was his third try of the tournament. Nuwan Hettiarachchi made no mistake again to add extra two points to extend the lead of Tuskers (07-17).
Tuskers started their sloppy play from the 32nd minute by letting opponent to score a easy try which was successfully converted (14-17). Volcanoes scored against with the full support of their forwards at the 39th minute which was unconverted (19-17).
They pulled from the back to keep the momentum in the lemons by taking 2 points advantage to the new start.
The Fijian Nagae Joseph came into the action soon after the second half whistle with a chip kick from the 45 meter line and the skipper Namal Rajapaksa completed the attempt with the third try. Tuskers took the lead brush aside Nuwan Hettiarachchi’s failed conversion attempt (22-19).
Nuwan was able to put a penalty in 79th minute to take Tuskers total to out of reach (25-19). Philippines need a converted try to overlook Tuskers. It was an impossible task from the point, they tried hard to keep their possession with lesser mistake and broken out with a punt to Nuwan Hettiarachchi who was defending at the back. Nuwan didn’t realize that they are in dying minutes and he kept the ball to secure the possession. It was the mistake Volcanoes looking for and their scrumhalf Jake Letts capitalized to score the most needed try near the post to inched them to the victory(25-24), the conversion kick was crucial to take one point lead.
The Philippines Alex Aronson missed the kick and Sri Lanka fans and the team started celebration, however the referee called a re kick as he found inappropriate play while charging the kicker by Sri Lanka players.
Alex made no mistake in his second attempt and secured a thrilling victory to leave Tuskers winless.
Full Time Score: Philippines 26 (4T 3C) – Sri Lanka 25 (3T 2C 2P)
Tuskers beaten against South Korea (59-03), Hong Kong (41-10) and Japan (132-10) early in this tournament.
Sri Lanka will play again in Division I next year as they end as the last in Top 5.