Sri Lanka Women’s team will play Thailand in the plate final while Sri Lanka will play at 1:38 pm (Sri Lanka time)
Sri Lanka women’s team beat South Korea 21-15 in the semi-final of the plate competition of the Asian Sevens Series.
Sri Lanka’s men’s team qualified for the semi-final of the Asian Sevens Series first leg when they beat Chinese Taipei 33-12 on day two of the competition.
Earlier, the women’s team finished their group stage matches with a 35-00 defeat to China, which meant they would play in the plate segment of the tournament .
First day report: Battle on at Happy Valley
By Ranil Prematilake in Hong Kong
Both the Sri Lanka men’s and women’s rugby teams survived to battle for top honour’s in the first leg of the Asian Sevens Series 2018 in Happy Valley, Hong Kong today (14). The Sri Lanka men’s team will have to get the better of Chinese Taipei tomorrow in the match scheduled for 9.20am (Sri Lanka Time) to feature in the Cup Championship semi-finals, whilst the Sri Lanka women face a must win situation against China tomorrow (7.30am Sri Lanka Time) in order to qualify for the Cup segment semis.
Japan, aware of the danger before them, utilised maximum force to subdue a fearless Sri Lankan side by 21 points (three converted tries) to nil and assure themselves of a Cup Championship semi-final slot. Japan dominated possession, yet a dogged Sri Lanka defence managed to restrict the Japanese having in their ranks the services of two pacific islanders. To add to the fluctuating fortunes, midway through the game young Dinuk Amarasinghe was pulled out due to an injury (rib-cage), which according to the team management is not a serious one.
Sri Lanka capitalised on a couple of fumbles early on by China and dished out a flawless display of fast open rugby to decimate the opponents by 31 points (five tries, three conversions) to nil in the Group ‘A’ opener last afternoon.
A shaky initial minutes, followed a power packed run by new kid Dinuk Amarasinghe who warded off a couple of Chinese defenders to put Sri Lanka on the board. A perfectly executed ensuing conversion by Srinath Sooriyabandara gave Sri Lanka a 7-0 lead. Sri Lanka wasted no time in forcing their way deep into Chinese territory and was awarded a penalty. Opting for a scrum, skipper Sooriyabandara fed Sudam Sooriyarachchi a blind side ball to go over the line despite valiant efforts by two defenders. Sooriyarachchi himself added the extra points for Sri Lanka to take a 14-00 lead at the breather.
After the resumption of play an omnipresent Srinath Sooriyabandara hit a gap, having collected an offload by Kavindu Perera to touch down for an unconverted try, which essentially sealed the game for Sri Lanka. Thereafter Buddhima Piyaratne kicked ahead a loose ball and followed with the pick up to score under the posts. Replacement Kevin Dixon made no mistake with the conversion. Sri Lanka was in no mood to relax and scored another try through Kevin Dixon.
The tournament got underway with the Sri Lankan women taking on Asian Games bronze medallists Kazakhstan. In a one-sided game, Kazakhstan prevailed 36-00 over a rusty Sri Lankan outfit, guilty of scrappy ball handing on many an occasion. At half time Kazakhstan led 19-00.
The Sri Lankan lasses came back strongly to record a 17-05 win over Singapore with tries coming through Ayesha Perera, Dilrukshi Kumari and Thanuja Weerakkody. The third try was converted by Ayesha Kaluarachchi.
In the shock of the day, Asian Games bronze medallists South Korea succumbed to the Philippines (07-12), with the winning Philippine try coming in what turned out to be the last move of the game.
RESULTS OF THE MATCHES PLAYED ON DAY ONE:
· Kazakhstan beat Sri Lanka: 36-00
· China beat Singapore: 31-00
· Hong Kong beat Thailand: 22-07
· Japan beat South Korea: 48-00
· Sri Lanka beat Singapore: 17-5
· China beat Kazakhstan: 21-14
· Thailand beat South Korea: 17-12
· Japan beat Hong Kong: 31-07
· Sri Lanka beat China: 31-00
· Japan beat Chinese Taipei: 22-00
· Philippines beat South Korea: 12-07
· Hong Kong beat Malaysia: 54-00
· Chinese Taipei beat China: 19-15
· Japan beat Sri Lanka: 21-00
· Hong Kong beat South Korea: 59-00
· Philippines beat Malaysia: 26-10