Hong Kong U-20s thrash Sri Lanka to seal Asian title

Hong Kong thrashed Sri Lanka 36-0 to lift the Asia Under-20 Rugby Championship which came to an end at King’s Park in Hong Kong yesterday.

Sri Lanka were unbeaten in the competition until they met Hong Kong in the final and tries from A. Paul, C. Smith. D. Max and D. Oliver.

Sri Lanka could not handle the pressure of a final as they failed to match the impressive brand of rugby that they had been playing in the build up to the final.

A strong display on Friday had booked Sri Lanka’s place in the semi-final, but they still went all out to beat Chinese Taipei in the final group stage match which was their first game of Saturday.

Naveen Henakankanamge gave Sri Lanka the lead in the second minute when he scored near the corner flag after making a fine run in the left side of the field. Chamod Fernando made the conversion to take 7-0 lead.

A minute later Chinese Taipei scored their first try of the game to make it 7-7. It was well worked try from the young lads from Chinese Taipei as they worked their line before sending S. Chang to score under the post.

Sri Lanka however, regained the lead when Henakankanamge produced a stunning try which gave them 14-7 lead after another conversion from Fernando.

Chinese Taipei did not show any sign of giving up as they continued to play well which resulted in a try from Hein Lo which once again levelled the scores at 14-all.

This turned out to be a wake-up call for Sri Lanka as they then put together a very good display scoring two tries with both of them being touched down by Theekshana Dissanayake.

A top of the table finish in the group stage meant Sri Lanka had to take on South Korea in the semi-final and the Lankan Under-20s dominated the semi-final with some great performances.

They got off to a cracking start as Henakankanamge scored the opening try while Adeesha Eshan doubled the scores two minutes later, but G. Lee scored a try for South Korea giving them a real hope.

Lankans kept on playing well and scored as many as three tries in the second half through Henakankanamge, Fernando and Suranga Bandara. (JS)

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