Tense battles in the Plate segments

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By Special Correspondent

The Cup and Plate segments of the Nippon Paint Inter Club League rugby tournament have heated up with only two more weeks of the 2022 edition left.  

Only Kandy Sports Club and Havelocks Sports Club are in with a chance for the Cup, while the Plate is wide open and any of the top three teams could carry away the trophy, as the competition is intense at present. 

Air Force Vs Army 

Air Force SC will be favoured to win when they lock horns against Army SC at Havelock Park today after losing to CR in their last game, which has created a great deal of excitement as all three teams are in with a chance to lift the Plate. 

Air Force are currently in the No.2 position in the Plate segment, while the Soldiers are at rock bottom with 10 points.

Air Force will heavily depend on skipper Nuwan Perera, Gayantha Iddamalgoda and Faris Ali to carry them over the line. Coached by Shamly Nawaz they can turn tables on any team on their day. 

Meanwhile, the Soldiers coached by Radhika Hettiarachchi brought out their heavy guns in the game against Kandy in Kandy in their league encounter, but lost all energy as the game wore on. 

Nalaka Maduranga, Gayan Salinda and Sudaraka Dikkumbura are all top-class players. They will need to coordinate with their forwards and three quarters and put up a solid performance in this game.

Referee: Gihan Yatawara

 Navy Vs CR and FC

Navy SC will go all out to maintain their lead in the Plate segment when they confront the Red Shirts on Saturday at Longdon Place.

CR have turned out to be an unpredictable outfit this season. They beat Air Force in their last encounter, while the Sailors got the better of Army. 

Navy lead the table with 19 points while CR is in third place with 15. One game could change the points table, and hence, no team can afford to relax till the end.

Adeesha Weeratunge-led Sailors will heavily depend on Thilina Weerasinghe, Samuel Maduwantha and Radeesha Seneviratne. 

Yoshitha Rajapaksa will be playing his last club game for Navy SC, as he is expected to retire after 15 years of club rugby plus national representation in both formats of the game.

Meanwhile, CR will depend on Supun Warnakulasuriya, Sabar brothers and Kavindu de Costa to bounce back and show some pride in a club which has lost some of its lustre. President Ted Muttiah, a former Royal skipper, is doing everything possible to end the campaign by winning the Plate segment, and to show the team has not lost its fighting qualities by performing well at the upcoming sevens and Clifford Cup next month.

Referee: Aaqil Jamaldeen