By Chris Dhambarage
Trinity College and St. Peter’s College stole the limelight while recording impressive victories in the Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament fourth week of matches worked off during the weekend.
The Peterites put up a stunning performance to beat the high riding Isipathana College team 32-15 at Bambalapitiya while the Trinitians defeated S. Thomas’ College 29-14 at Longden Place.
Trinity also had the satisfaction of regaining the Canon R. S. De Saram Shield as they pulled off their fourth successive victory to remain unbeaten in the tournament.
The Trinitians certainly lived upto expectations as the favourites as they outplayed their rivals while collecting their points from two goals and three tries and conceding just two tries to the home side.
Trinity of course made their intentions clear and got off to a fabulous start as they dominated the proceedings and went on to build up a commanding 19-0 lead at the half way mark.
They never looked back from there onwards and consolidated their position in the second half with two more tries before adding the finishing touches in a spectacular manner.
The Thomians of course suffered a huge blow midway in the first half as their Skipper and star player Naveen Heenakankanamge was forced to leave the field with an injury.
Even then, this was a pretty ordinary performance from S. Thomas’ and they looked quite demoralized after their shock defeat at the hands of Wesley College during the previous week.
However, there was a brief comeback from the Thomians in the second half as they managed to penetrate the Trinity defence twice while playing under tremendous pressure.
But the Trinitians were not prepared to surrender the game to their opponents after having done all the hard work as they held on to their lead with a determined performance until the final whistle.
St. Joseph’s vs Dharmaraja
St. Joseph’s College powered their way to an emphatic 44-10 victory over Dharmaraja College in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.
This victory will be a great relief for the Josephians as they have performed extremely well but without success in the previous two outings which were both close encounters.
But this time they made certain that they would triumph quite convincingly with a splendid all-round performance as they collected their points from four goals, two tries and two penalties.
The Rajans after making a promising start just could not keep the same momentum throughout the game as they surrendered quite meekly while scoring only a solitary goal and a penalty.
Even then, this will be a huge morale booster for St. Joseph’s who have already made their presence felt after having gone down fighting against two heavyweights in schools rugby Royal College (22-28) and Isipathana College (32-39) respectively.
Wesley vs Science College
Wesley College cruised to their third victory this season when they outplayed Science College Mount Lavinia 36-10 in another Singer Under-20 League Rugby Tournament fixture worked off at Longden Place.
The Wesleyites produced another clinical performance to mesmerize their opponents as they dominated the game from the kick-off and collected their points from three goals and three tries.
Science College of course struggled to get their act together well against a more organised team as they managed to score only a solitary goal and a penalty.
This victory has also lifted Wesley into the second place of the points table which is a remarkable achievement for a side which suffered a heavy defeat in their opening fixture of the tournament.
But since that early setback they have turned things around magnificently to topple a couple of more fancied teams and they seem to be heading in the right direction as they look for more glory in the current season.
D. S. Senanayake vs Royal
Royal College proved too strong for D. S. Senanayake College as the team from Reid Avenue pulled off a smashing 47-7 victory in their Singer Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match worked off at Welisara.
Royal may have not played their best game of rugby this season but yet they had enough firepower to overcome a rather inexperienced D. S. Senanayake outfit in this scrappy encounter.
Royal had raced to a commanding 28-7 lead at the half way mark and they went on to add the finishing touches quite convincingly while collecting their points from six goals and one try.
Despite missing out a number of scoring opportunities, Royal will be quite pleased with their effort considering the fact that their line was crossed only once by their opponents.
In addition the place kicking of George Goonawardena was really outstanding as he was able to add the extra points to six of their seven tries.
The victory was also a huge morale booster for Royal ahead of their vital fixture against the defending champions Isipathana College on Saturday.
Zahira vs Prince of Wales
Zahira College proved their growing reputation as one of the most promising teams this season when they trounced Prince of Wales College 64-12 in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Maradana.
The Zahirians who have already left a lasting impression in the tournament having dished out some superlative rugby went on the rampage and planted as many as ten tries and converted seven of them to complete a rousing victory.
The Cambrians were always up against it and they never looked like making a match of it as they responded with just four penalties.