Once Again, Mora vs. Pera Final!

Semi-finals of Inter University Rugby Championship 2018 were worked-off at Race Course Grounds, Colombo. University of Peradeniya and University of Moratuwa qualified for the final beating University of Kelaniya and University of Colombo respectively.

In the first semi-final University of Peradeniya showed why they are the defending champions by blocking the attacking display of Rugby by University of Kelaniya during the first few phases. Both Universities squandered their chances of opening the score card when Pera penalized for a forward pass few metres away from the try line and Kelaniya couldn’t put over a penalty which didn’t had the distance. Though University of Peradeniya didn’t have too many phases inside Kelaniya’s half Lakshitha Ramanayaka opened the scoring and they scored two unconverted tries.Pera led 10-0 at half-time.

University of Peradeniya exhibited more attacking style of play as University of Kelaniya was desperately defending on several occasions soon after the lemons. Pera scored another unconverted try to extend the lead (15-0). Then came the most anticipated try time for Kelaniya as they converted it(15-7). Yet, the skipper of Peradeniya Sasanka Pramuditha scored a solo try to dismantle the hopes of Kelaniya (22-7). Keshan Hasaranga capitalized on a bad fumble by a Kelaniya player and went onto score the try speeding through (29-7). Eventually, University of Kelaniya scored the consolation try at the dying moments of the game. Full-time score was 29-12.

As expected the second semi-final was a neck-to-neck battle when huge crowd poured into the stands largely supporting Colombo. During early stages Mora was confined to its own half due to the aggressive style of play by UOC. Mayura Rathnasooriya provided the dream start for the hosts as he scored the first try of the match bulldozing Mora defense(5-0). UOC successfully converted the try to make it 7-0. Mora took some time to play their usual game, they weren’t in a good shape causing few errors and their kicks were not up to the mark. Nevertheless, Sandaru Himanga completed the first try for Mora(5-5) when he received a timely pass from Vidhushan after a strong run when Mora took a clean line-out and worked the ball towards right. Anuja Weerakoon added the extra points with an easy conversion(5-7).  Skipper Sachin Nissankarachi scored another try for Mora demolishing the UOC defense with his strong run(5-12). Ravinga Perera’s attempt to put over a goal was not successful which was costly for UOC in the end. Mora took control of first half when they completed their third try through speedy scrum-half Sandaru Himanga. At half-time Mora led the tables with 17-7.

During second half both Mora and Colombo searched for their chances. Though Colombo received a penalty Sumudu Dileepa’s kicking distance was only enough to strike the crossbar. The untiring efforts of UOC paid off when skipper Madusha Ushan made valuable distance with his run to aid Chamath Perera to complete the much needed try for Colombo(12-17). The game was getting intense and UOC was in desperate need of 5 points. Once again Mayura Rathnasooriya sparkled the hope for Colombo when he ran so close to the try line with only one man chasing behind him. But the skipper Sachin Nissankarachi did well to tackle him instantly.  When Refree blew the final whistle scores indicated 17-12 win for Mora.

Once again, it’s going to be Mora vs Pera final; undoubtedly, it’ll be a cliffhanger.

Article by: Imthadh Ahamed


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