By Chris Dhambarage
Trinity’s unbeaten record this season will be under major threat when they take on arch rivals S. Thomas’ College in a crucial Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament fixture for the Canon R. S. de Saram Shield at Longden Place on Monday (20).
The Trinitians are currently riding on a crest of a wave after they had notched up three successive victories over Wesley College (64-24), Science College Mount Lavinia (52-7) and Zahira College (34-26) respectively.
In contrast, the Thomians of course will be still recovering following last week’s shock 19-23 defeat at the hands of Wesley College at this same venue as they surrendered the Oliver Gunathilake Shield to their opponents for the first time.
However, they have the potential and the ingredients to make a comeback and stretch their opponents to the maximum as they look to retain the Shield for the second successive year.
In fact, last year also the two teams figured in a thrilling encounter with the Thomians making a strong second half rally to win the game 23-20 and regain the Shield after a lapse of three years under the leadership of Pandula de Silva at Pallekele.
This time both teams studded with a number of Sri Lanka youth players are well set for another rousing battle as they look to clinch the top spot in the Segment IIA points table.
Trinity are currently on top of the points table after their early dominance in the league and they also have the credit of scoring the most number of tries (23) in the tournament.
This is of course mainly because they had the opportunity of piling up over 50 points twice this season against Wesley and Science College in two one sided encounters.
However, Trinity experienced some anxious moments in their next game and were put under tremendous pressure by a fighting Zahira outfit before emerging victorious in a close game at Maradana.
This time they are certain to face even a tough challenge as the Thomians will be determined to get back into winning ways following last week’s setback.
The outcome of the game will no doubt be decided in the manner how well the three quarters handle the situation as both teams possess some outstanding back division players.
The dynamic centre three quarter Diluksha Dange who is one of the top try scorers this season will be the key player for Trinity along with scrum half Anuka Boyagoda.
S. Thomas’ will look for another good performance from the more experienced winger Naveen Henakankanamge who will carry their hopes in this game along with Sharith Nananyakkara.