Asian Five Nations
Sri Lanka denied debut win
ESPNscrum Staff
April 24, 2011
Nuwan Hettarachchi dives in to score for Sri Lanka, Sri Lanka v United Arab Emirates, Asian Five Nations, Colombo, April 23, 2011
Sri Lanka's Nuwan Hettiarachchi dives in to score against the UAE in Colombo © Asian Five Nations

Sri Lanka were left to rue a disallowed try as they drew 13-13 with the United Arab Emirates on their Asian Five Nations debut in Colombo.

Replacement winger Lasitha Costa crossed with minutes remaining only for the touch judge to rule out the effort and deny them a first victory in the tournament.

A try from tight-head prop Eranda Swarnatillaka and a penalty from Nuwan Hettiarachchi had given Sri Lanka an 8-0 lead before UAE came back strongly with tries from tight-head Dan Boatwright and left winger Steve Smith, as well as a Jonathon Grady penalty. But Hettiarachchi covered 50 metres to complete a rare backline move to set up the thrilling finish.

"The result was very disappointing. We created enough opportunities to win and it should have really come down to goal kicking," said Sri Lanka coach Ellis Meachen, who coached Tonga at the 2007 World Cup.

In Almaty, Hong Kong came away with a 23-10 victory over Kazakhstan, who played much of the second half with 13 men after receiving two red cards.

First-half tries from captain Tom McColl and scrum-half Peter McKee, along with 13 points from the boot of fly-half Keith Robertson, ensured Hong Kong top the table with five points.

Hong Kong will take on Japan next Saturday at Hong Kong Football Club while Kazakhstan travel to Abu Dhabi to face the UAE on Friday evening.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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