By Shannon Nicholas
High-flying Trinity College reclaimed the Canon R. S. de Saram Shield when they beat S. Thomas’ College by 29 points to 14 in their Singer Schools Rugby League 2017 fixture played at the CR & FC Grounds on Monday.
The ‘Lions’, who had a comfortable 19-00 lead at lemons, collected their points through two goals and three unconverted tries while the Thomians were only able to collect two goals. The win saw the Trinitians extend their unbeaten run to four matches, while retaining the top spot in Group B.
The game was expected to be thriller but the first-half proved to be a one-sided affair in which last year’s runners-up S. Thomas’ were stunned by the lads from Kandy. With just 15 minutes on the clock, Trinity drew first blood when Fullback Amit Kulathunga touched down after collecting the ball from Bandara Senevirathne, through a fast-paced counter-attack. Fly-half Lashan Wijesuriya added the extras with ease and the scores read 07-00.
The Thomians looked threatening but a perfectly executed team play was squandered within inches of the try line a few moments later. Avishka Sheik extended the Trinity lead ten minutes later when the Centre managed to dodge past three Thomian players to plant a try. With the conversion being successful, the scores were amended to 14-00.
The Trinity outfit was at their attack once again and was dominating possession, although some errors were seen. The nifty Scrum-half Anuka Boyagoda was influential throughout the game and his pass close to the touchline was collected by Wijesuriya, who dived over to score the third try for the Trinitians.
Trinity almost scored their fourth try on the verge of half-time but Diluksha Dange’s try was disallowed for a foul prior to it. The Trinitians failed to take advantage of the resulting ruck however, and the scores stood at 19 – 0 when Referee Rohan Fernando blew for half-time.
The Thomians looked rejuvenated when play was resumed and showed signs of bouncing back into the game. Hans Walpola put up the first points for the ‘Blue and Blacks’, when the outside-half was quick to take the ball over the line in front of the posts with just three minutes into the second-half. Dion Dias bisected the posts at the conversion and the scores were amended to 19-07.
The Trinitians struck back minutes later when skipper Nathan Yee managed to get the better of the Thomian backline to touch down and record their fifth try of the evening.
Trinity were reduced to 14-men ten minutes later when Akith Sakalasuriya was sin binned for an improper tackle in front of the posts. The Trinitians however were strong enough to cancel out the Thomian attack from the resulting ruck.
The Thomians scored their second try when Fullback Mayon Jayawardena broke through the Trinity defense to touch down. Dias added the extras from a difficult angle and the scores were set to 24-14.
The Trinitians had the last laugh however when Sakalasuriya was able to make up for his yellow card, scoring the sixth try of the evening. The conversion was missed and the scores were amended to 29-14 when the Referee blew for full-time.
Trinity will next face Prince of Wales at Pallekele on the 25th while the Thomians are set to take on Science College at CR & FC on the same day.