Stars return to Kandy SC

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By 2017-02-17

By Harsha Amarasinghe

CT Sports: Kandy Sports Club is expected to field a very strong side as they target double titles ahead of the Clifford Cup Knock-out Tournament opener against CH and FC in Nittawela Rugby Stadium in Kandy today.

Prop forward Ganuka Dissanayake and Yakoob Ali have returned with hooker Damith Dissanayake to feature in the front row replacing Lasitha Attanagoda, Uchitha Jayasooriya and Kishore Jehan who retired at the end of league tournament final last weekend.

Giant lock forward Dimitri Wijetunga will combine with Suhiru Anthony, who is arguably the most consistent of Kandy players this season. Flanker Shehan Pathirana, who is the only player to have featured in all the second round matches in the league competition, is set to start against CH today along with Tharindu Chathuranga and Buwaneka Udangamuwa in the third row.

Centre Danushka Ranjan and Richard Dharmapala who have shared 28 league tries between them are also restored in the starting line-up along with Nigel Ratwatte who has been asked to play at centre. Ratwatte in recent years played at full-back, but a back injury to Fazil Marija saw him being pushed to the fly-half position. However, the return of Marija and the kicking brilliance of full-back Thilina Wijesinghe forced him to play at centre.

CH and FC struggled all season, but they have shown some promise in the last couple of games. Although they were eventually beaten 59-3 by Kandy last week to win the league title, did not allow a second string Kandy side to score for the first 15 minutes.

They will look to improve on their defensive game. Flanker Yoshitha Rajapaksa is still not available for the Maitland Crescent Club while they will look to produce a better display this time around.

Kandy overwhelming favourites to win this game should seal it quite comfortably.

Teams:

Kandy SC: Ganuka Dissanayake, Damith Dissanayake, Yakoob Ali, Dimitri Wijetunga, Suhiru Anthony, Tharindu Chathuranga, Shehan Pathirana, Buwaneka Udangamuwa, Roshan Weeraratne and Fazil Marija, Vishvamithra Jayasinghe, Danushka Ranjan, Nigel Ratwatte, Richard Dharmapala, Thilina Wijesinghe.

CH and FC: Dimal Jayasinghe, Devinda Colombage, Kalindu Kariyawasam, Ryan Fernando, Chamindra Herath, Mohamed Rizkan, Malinda Alwis, Viraj Hewage, Fariz Ali and Rohitha Rajapaksa, Ashan Indika, Akash Iddawela, Ashwantha Herath, Kavindra Zoysa, Vishva Deneth.

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