Sri Lanka vs Philippines, Sri Lanka put out a marker of intent in the opening match of the Asia Rugby Championship 2017 – Division 1 at the Padang Ipoh, Perak as they cast aside Philippines, 24 – 13.
The Tuskers used their pace and quick passing movement to great effect despite the heavy pitch conditions as they stormed to an early 8 – 0 lead as Danushka Ranjan scored the first try of the Championship and Thilina converted an early penalty.
And despite a yellow card for Taariq Salih on the 30th minute, it did not stop Sri Lanka from adding more points as they absorbed pressure from the Philippines and punished their mistakes through Thilina’s second successful penalty in the very last minute of the first half.
Both team started the second half on positive note. However, mistakes and strong discipline by both teams’ defensive lines stopped either team from adding points. The Sri Lankan dominance was highlighted with the Philippines having to wait until the 60th minute mark to score their first points as Kevin Gordon slotted a penalty.
Sri Lanka scored their second try of the match as their left winger, Richie Dharmapala finished the slick and quick Sri Lanka movement on the 65th minutes mark. And with it, Sri Lanka was in total control leading 21 – 3.
With 10 minutes to go in the match, the Philippines finally created some chances and scored their first try to Kucia and was quickly followed up by their second try as Coveney finished a sweeping movement near the left corner flag.
But Sri Lanka absorbed the final minutes of pressure as Thilina converted his fourth successful penalty kick with 2 minutes to go and the Tuskers celebrated their opening 24 – 13 victory.
Sri Lanka’s assistant coach, Rajeew Perera commented ‘Our performance was quite good, but there are a couple of small areas that we will need to work on – the breakdown, where we need quick ball and if we can get this, our players would have played much better than this. Also, our decision-making needs to be better and we gave away too many penalties, so we will work on these in the next few days as we look forward to our next match against UAE on Wednesday’.
Sri Lanka vs Philippines
Sri Lanka 24 vs Philippines 13
Next Games will be on 17 May at Ipoh Padang – Ipoh Malaysia
Game 3 2 Pm Sri Lanka Vs UAE
Game 4 4 pm Malaysia Vs Philippines
(local time +8GMT)
All matches can be viewed live on:
Asia: www.rugbypass.com in Asia
Malaysia: Astro TV and Astro HD In Malaysia; rugby pass in available for Free in Malaysia
New Zealand: SKY Rugby TV 64
Rest of the world: Our Asia Rugby Live Facebook Page across the rest of world
Photo credit: Tigers Super Sports Media