Pathana to face acid test from Zahira
  Published : 9:13 pm  April 27, 2017 | No comments so far | Print This Post  | 0 views
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By Chris Dhambarage

Isipathana College will face an acid test when they take on Zahira College in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament second-round opening fixture at Havelock Park on Friday (28).

Zahira have always proved that they could be a dangerous outfit with some outstanding rugby this season and are capable of bringing down even the best on their day.

Despite making a comeback into ‘A’ Division Rugby after a lapse of many years,Zahira have won plenty of admiration for their robust style of play which has surprised quite a number of schools this year.

In fact, Zahira were able to finish among the top four teams in the Segment 11A points table after having recorded two stunning victories over Science College Mount Lavinia (19-13) and Prince of Wales (64-12) respectively.

The significant feature in Zahira’s performances this season was that they were able to stretch every opposition to the maximum before eventually going down fighting.

Altogether, Zahira could consider themselves rather unfortunate considering the fact that some of their games were very close and they were beaten by a couple of points in the end.

Theirmatches against S. Thomas’ College (24-29), Trinity College (26-34) and Wesley College (29-32) are classic examples of theirspirited performances as their opponents were severely tested until the final whistle.

Even then, Isipathana will start as clear favourites to pull off the game considering the fact that they are in tremendous form after completing the first-round of the tournament quite successfully.

The defending champions of course suffered a major setback mid-way in the season when they lost to St. Peter’s College (15-32) at Bambalapitiya.

However, Isipathana were able to make amends and still they finished on top of the Segment 1A points table after recording victories over Dharmaraja College (18-12), St. Joseph’s College (39-32), St. Anthony’s College (43-35), Royal College (22-17) and D. S. Senanayake College (69-13) respectively.

They will be hoping to maintain the same form in the second-round as well even though they are certain to receive some tough opposition from an unpredictable Zahira team.

In fact, Zahira’s two main weapons will be their play maker Zaid Singhawansa and Yuzraan Lantra who have been simply brilliant on the field throughout their first-round matches.

Singhawansa has emerged as the highest points’ scorer so far in the current season with six tries, five penalties and 16 conversions to his credit.

In addition, Lantra has scored nine spectacular tries during their five matches in the first-round and once again he could cause a major threat to the opposition.

Meanwhile, Isipathana’s star player this season has been Chamod Fernando who has planted seven magnificent tries in addition to making eight conversions during their six outings in the first-round.

In addition, a lot will also depend on the experienced players Harith Bandara and N. Chaminda who have scored four tries each in the current season.

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