Weerasinghe key player as Navy eyes final spot

Published : 9:51 am  February 21, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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Piyaratne set to miss Clifford Cup semis


By Harsha Amarasinghe 
The spotlight will be squarely on full back Thilina Weerasinghe as Navy Sports Club bids to secure a place in the Clifford Cup Knock-Out Rugby Tournament final when they go head-to-head against Havelock Sports Club in the semi-final at the Race Course Grounds in Reid Avenue today. 

Having collected over 200 points this season, Navy SC would hope their key player would come good once more in what looks to be a very exciting game of rugby. 

Weerasinghe, who was once described as the country’s ‘best place kicker’ by Nilfer Ibrahim, has also been among the tries for the Sailors. 

Perhaps his performance would be even more significant in this encounter given the fact that wing three quarter Buddhima Piyarathne has been sidelined with an illness. 

The Sri Lanak Sevens star player has been replaced by former Isipathana College utility back Gayan Wickramaratne while Chathura Gomez has retained his place. 

According to Navy SC management the Welisara Club has made some tactical decisions with Dulanjana Wijesinghe playing as number eight joining Adeesha Weeratunga and Raveen de Silva in third row. 

Meanwhile, lock forward Supun Peiris has been dropped to the bench with Janith Laksara joining Lahiru Wishwajith in the second row as Club Captain Dhanushka Perera and Supun Dilshan are still out with suspension while Stephan Gregory is unlikely to take any further part of this competition. 

Untitled-4Havelock SC on the other hand will have their work cut out against this Navy side despite dominating Army SC in their quarter-final match. 

The Havelock SC management revealed that the Park Club has stuck to the half back combination of Sudam Parinda and Niroshan Fernando with Rahul de Silva set to be making a substitute appearance. 

Meanwhile, hooker Azmir Fajudeen has also retained his place in the starting line-up despite Prasath Madushanka making a real impact coming off the bench in the recent weeks. 

With Melder still out with injury, lock forward Chanaka Bandara is certain to partner Sharo Fernando in the second row while no changes have been made to the third row consisting Senal Deelaka, Shehan Dias and Lasindu Ishan.

Wing three quarter Chamara Dabare will start for the Havies once more this season in the absence of first choice Kevin Dixon while Ramesh Fernando could come into the side in place of Randy Silva who touched down last week in a thumping win over Army SC. 

The teams:

Navy SC: Kasun de Silva, Amith Gunasinghe, Charith Silva, Lahiru Wishwajith, Janith Laksara, Adeesha Weeratunga, Raveen de Silva, Dulanjana Wijesinghe, Harsha Maduranga and Mohamed Abzal, Chathura Gomez, Mushin Faleel, Thanuja Maduranga, Gayan Wickramarathne, Thilina Weerasinghe.

Havelock SC: Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Azmir Fajudeen, Liston Flatney, Sharo Fernando, Chanaka Bandara, Senal Deelaka, Shehan Dias, Lasindu Ishan, Sudam Parinda and Niroshan Fernando, Chamara Dabare, Hirantha Perera, Nisohn Perera, Ramesh Fernando, Rizah Mubarak.