Ranjan injury huge blow for Sri Lanka in final


Danushka Ranjan

Sri Lanka will dearly miss the services of dynamic centre Danushka Ranjan when they scrum down against Malaysia in the Asia Rugby Championship (division one) final against Malaysia in Ipoh, Malaysia today.

Kandy centre was taken off just two minutes into the kick off in the second game against United Arab Emirates (UAE) as he suffered a shoulder injury while trying to dive for a try. The big centre landed on his shoulder and was soon replaced by the team management.

Ranjan is one of the best players in Asia having won the most valuable player award in 2015 when they lifted the trophy a couple of years ago. Ranjan scored one try each in both the games, but Sri Lanka will not have his services for the all important final game.

Sri Lanka might hand a start to wing three quarter Sashan Mohamed in the absence of Ranjan as Nishon Perera looks set to be shifted to centre. The CR back was a late inclusion to the squad as the national selectors only named him in the squad after Kandy wing three quarter Lavanga Perera opted out of the tournament.

Sri Lanka defeated the Philippines 24-13 in the opening match where full-back Thilina Wijesinghe added 14 points through four penalties and a conversion while the scorers were Ranjan and Richard Dharmapala.

In the second game, Sri Lanka comprehensively defeated a UAE side who had been restricted for 14 men due to a red card for their hooker Joshua Ives. Sri Lanka scored four tries in the particular match which ensured them a bonus point. Fly half Fazil Marija, centre Lee Keegel, wing three quarter Jason Dissanayake and Ranjan were the try scorers in that match.

Malaysia will be a very difficult opponent as they have some Fiji born players in the squad who have been performing well for Malaysia. In addition they have got a very heavy pack which could cause Sri Lanka all sorts of problems.

In the match against UAE, Sri Lanka forwards could barely do anything, but they will have to put up a much better performance if they are to stand any chance against Malaysia. This game will also be the final game for former skipper Fazil Marija who will finish his fifteens rugby career which lasted for 15 years.



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