Sri Lanka hold edge over U.A.E in second match



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Sri Lanka 15-a-side rugby team will be the favourites on paper when they go head to head against a little known United Arab Emirates in their second match of the Asia Rugby Division 1 Championship in Ipoh, Malaysia today.


Sri Lanka defeated Philippines in the first game by 24 points to 13 where centre Danushka Ranjan and wing three quarter Richard Dharmapala went on to score for the Tuskers.


Ranjan is the captain of Sri Lanka sevens team while Dharmapala is an integral part of that side. These two Kandy players shared over 40 tries in the concluded league season for the double winning Kandy side and their presence has certainly strengthened the national side.


Ranjan has made a name for himself in the Asia circuit. He was named the most valuable player in this tournament a couple of years ago when Sri Lanka lifted the Trophy under the captaincy of Fazil Marija.


Marija on the other hand announced his retirement from fifteens rugby at the end of this tournament which means the game against U.AE will be his second last match in this format.


Full-back Thilina Wijesinghe also had an outstanding debut as he scored 14 points including four penalties to set up the win. The Kandy back division player will have to play a similar role if they are to beat U.A.E.


Navy centre Lee Keagel had a good inter-club season which saw him earning a place in the squad and the dynamic centre was given a start in the opening match by head coach Fereti Verebula. Keegel will have to justify this decision when they face U.A.E today.


The U.A.E although are not known as a strong rugby side has included some foreigners in their squad namely Christopher Jones, Joshua Ives, Paul Hart, Daniel Perry, Edward Talbot, Ben Bolger, David Knight, Jaen Botes and Kristopher Greene.


Sri Lanka are certainly not going to have an easy game, but their previous experience in the division will give them the upper hand in this crucial encounter.


Sri Lanka Squad: Roshan Weeraratne (Captain), Fazil Marija, Ganuka Dissanayake, Suhiru Anthony, Richard Dharmapala, Danushka Ranjan, Sashan Mohamed, Jason Dissanayake, Thilina Wijesinghe, Dushmantha Priyadarshana, Sharo Fernando, Prasath Madushanka, Niroshan Fernando, Nishon Perera, Umesh Madushanka, Ashan Darling, Sajith Saranga, Sathya Ranatunga, Chanaka Chandimal, Richie Dharmapala, Lee Keagle, Taariq Salih, Omalka Gunarathne, Joel Perera, Asoka Jayalal. (JS)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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