Wilwara brace in vain as Kandy lose 23-24

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By 2017-09-23

By Harsha Amarasinghe

CT Sports: Two stunning tries from wing three quarter Anurudda Wilwara went in vain as Bahrain Rugby Football Club held on to a thrilling 24 points (3-tries, 3-conversions, 1-penalty) to 23 points (3-tries, 1-conversion, 1-penalty, 1-drop goal) victory over Kandy Sports Club in their West Asia Club Rugby Championship played in Kandy yesterday. This meant that the Abu Dhabi Harlequins who had beaten Bahrain RFC and drawn against Kandy SC, emerged champions of the tournament.

Kandy though had conceded a 11 point lead (24-13) at the breather bounced back strongly in the early stages of the second half with Wilwara going over for a try in the 47th minute after Sri Lanka's inter-club giants had been reduced to 13 men with yellow cards to full-back Thilina Wijesinghe and prop forward Ganuka Dissanayake. Wijesinghe's absence meant that fly-half Arshad Jamaldeen had to make the conversions and like in the week before he struck the upright again.

Five minutes later Kandy produced another cracking try following through breathtaking offloads from second row Dimitri Wijetunga and Wilwara releasing captain Gayan Weeraratne on the left side of the field and experienced centre dived over near the corner flag leaving incoming Wijesinghe a tough conversion. The former Dharmaraja full-back was unable to add the extra points as the scores remained on 24-23 in favour of the visitors.

Kandy with momentum looked like they were heading for what could have been a vital victory, but the double champions were quite poor technically in the latter stages of the second half losing pretty much every single line-out from the opposite 22.

Hooker Damith Dissanayake in particular had an awful second half while it was absurd to see them not going for three points off penalties because they had several chances and had two of those gone in, they could have been the champions of West Asia. They were that close.

Perhaps Kandy let in too many tries in that first half where the Bahraini side touched down thrice using their heavy pack mostly. Second row Richard Muncaster touched down in the eighth minute after a Wijesinghe penalty had given hosts the lead. A powerful driving maul from the visitors saw prop forward David Evans going over eight minutes later, but a sensational individual try from Wilwara brought back the Kandyan side to the game. However, the Bahrain team was able to add a third try deep into second half taking the game away from Kandy.




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