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Review: Royal secures League and Bradby first-leg in style

May 25, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

Royal College are the new Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament champions for the 2017 season.

Royal win league title

The team from Reid Avenue delivered the final blow on Saturday to regain the coveted title by overcoming the traditional rivals Trinity College 22-17 at Pallekele in Kandy.

Royal’s success had a great amount of significance as they also cleared their first hurdle in their attempt to win the prestigious Bradby Shield.

Royal will now carry a five point advantage over their rivals when they clash once again in the second-leg of the 73rd annual encounter on June 3 at the Royal College Sports Complex.

The manner in which Royal performed in this last Cup Segment fixture of the league tournament was really outstanding as they were under tremendous pressure even before the kick-off.

But they lived upto expectations as a true champion outfit while folding up twice from an early setback before recording a memorable and historic victory away from home.

Royal suffered an early setback and they were trailing 0-5 shortly after the kick-off and once again they were up against it when the home side snatched a 12-10 lead few minutes after the interval.

However, Royal seems to have made it a habit of turning things around in their favour in the second half as once again they showed their prowess by producing some exhilarating rugby during the latter stages of the game.

They scored two back-to-back tries midway in the second half through Hamza Reeza to build up a commanding lead and then held on determinedly and deprived the home side of scoring with some superb cover defence.

In fact the current season turned out to be a memorable one for Reeza who emerged as the most successful try scorer with 14 tries to his credit in the league tournament.

Isipathana vs Wesley

Isipathana College produced a splendid second half rally to beat Wesley College 28-0 in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament final Cup Championship fixture played at Havelock Park.

This victory also ensured Isipathana the runners-up position in the league points table as they concluded the proceedings in the league tournament on a high note.

Even then, Isipathana probably expected a tough challenge from their opponents in this vital game but quite surprisingly they had things almost to their liking especially in the second half.

In fact, Wesley never looked the same team as they had performed in the earlier matches as they surrendered to their opponents quite meekly in their final outing.

The Wesleyites of course managed to apply some pressure to their opponents in the first half as Isipathana struggled initially and took a slender 8-0 lead at the break.

However, once they got their act together well and settled down, the home side really went on the rampage and added four more tries to their tally in the second half which helped them to complete a rousing victory in the end.

St. Peter’s vs S. Thomas’

S. Thomas’ College came from behind with a tremendous performance to force a thrilling 25-25 draw to their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament second-round fixture against St. Peter’s College worked off at Bambalapitiya.

This was no doubt a major setback for the Peterites considering the fact they started the match as favourites following some impressive performances in their earlier matches.

But the Thomians who were trailing 12-15 at half time came back strongly in the second half and went on to share the honours with their rivals while collecting their points from two goals, one try and two penalties.

The Peterites of course made a promising start as they took the initiative and set the pace for a convincing victory at one stage but had to settle for a draw in the end with their points coming through two goals, one try and two penalties.

Even then, S. Thomas’ had the satisfaction of retaining the Archibald Perera Memorial Trophy by virtue of their victory in last year’s encounter.

The Thomians could have even snatched the game from the jaws of defeat as their reliable place kicker Dion Dias fluffed an easy under the post penalty during the latter stages of the game.

St. Joseph’s vs Zahira

St. Joseph’s College had the satisfaction of concluding the league fixtures on a high note as they powered their way to a resounding 38-14 victory over Zahira College in their match played at Welisara.

The Josephians collected their points from one goal, five tries and two penalties while Zahira responded with two goals.

The Joes of course got off to a splendid start as they built up a commanding 18-0 lead at half time while scoring three superb tries and also fired across a penalty during a dominant performance.

However, Zahira hit back in the second half and surprised their opponents as they managed to touch down on two occasions and also converted both tries to keep their hopes alive.

But St. Joseph’s added the finishing touches in style as they went on to plant three more tries in the second half and also fired across a penalty to increase the lead to put the issue beyond doubt.

Pathana-Wesley clash for prestige

May 20, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

Isipathana College and Wesley College will be hoping to conclude the Singer Inter-Schools League Tournament on a high note when they clash in their Under-20 rugby encounter at Havelock Park on Saturday (20).

Both teams of course will be looking to bounce back after they had a major setback last week where their league title hopes were shattered following two shock defeats.

The defending champions Isipathana surrendered to their arch rivals Trinity College 10-15 in an exciting contest played at Pallekele while Wesley went down to Royal 19-35 in their fixture played at the Royal Complex.

But the two teams believe that they still have something to achieve in this tournament as the winner of this game could probably have the chance of finishing as the runners-up of the league.

In fact, for the Wesleyites it will certainly be a near ‘dream cometrue’if they couldachieve their goal as never before they havehad so much of success in an Inter-Schools Under-20 League Tournament in the recent past.

No doubt the school of Campbell Park may be quite disappointed that they missed out a great opportunity of winning their maiden Under-20 League title.

However, they could still look back at their performances with great pride as they were able to topple some of the more fancied opponents in the first-round as well as in the important Cup Championship Segment.

Overall, this was a fantastic performance from the Wesleyites considering the fact that they had conceded the opening match of the tournament tamely to Trinity by a huge margin of 24-64 in Colombo.

This will also be the last chance for Isipathana to showcase their talent potential in the league tournament before they begin their preparations for the upcoming knock-out championship.

They will be really satisfied if they could pull off this game and finish in the second place of the points table considering the fact that they had put a lot hard work to maintain high standards on the field.

In addition, the cynosure of all eyes will be on the individual brilliance of Isipathana’s full back Chamodh Fernando and Wesley’s dynamic fly half Avishka Lee who have made a great amount of contribution for their respective teams.

In fact, Fernando is one of the leading try scorers in the league tournament with eight tries to his credit having also impressed as a reliable place kicker with a total of 15 conversions.

Meanwhile, Lee has been the main source of inspiration for Wesley having made his presence felt in every outing with five tries, nine penalties and 15 conversions under his belt for a fantastic overall contribution of 82 points.

Royal-Trinity should be a thriller with title on the line

May 19, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

A rousing game of rugby is expected when the traditional rivals Royal College and Trinity College clash in the first-leg of the 73rd Annual Bradby Shield Inter-Schools encounter which will be played at Pallekele in Kandy on Saturday (20).

This match is of great significance for both teams as the winners are also assured of emerging Cup Champions in the 2017 Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Tournament.

Both teams have cleared some of the toughest hurdles on their way during their first-round matches as well as in the Cup Segment of the league and are really determined to showcase their talent and potential.

In fact, Royal and Trinity have figured in some of the most fascinating inter-school rugby games in the recent past and last year’s fixture was a classic example of their rivalry.

In a dramatic turn of events to the 2016 encounter the Bradby Shield was shared,only for the second time in the history of the series, after both teams ended with the same aggregate.

Royal clinched the first-leg 22-17 in Colombo but Trinity took the second-leg 18-13 at Pallekele and the two teams had collected 35 points each.

This year too, Royal and Trinity have maintained their reputation as two of the pioneers of the game with some dazzling rugby throughout the current inter-school season.

Even then, both teams suffered a minor setback midway in the season with Royal going down to Isipathana College (17-22) on their home grounds and Trinity losing to St. Peter’s College (13-15) at Bambalapitiya.

But apart from these two obstacles, both teams have looked quite formidable on the field and now they have set up a fascinating contest in this final week of the league tournament.

Both teams will also take the field with a great amount of confidence after having recorded morale boosting victories in their previous outings played last week.

In fact, Royal signalled a clear warning to their rivals as they warmed-up for the Bradby Shield in style while recording a comprehensive 35-19 victory over Wesley College in a vital encounter.

In contrast, Trinity had a tough outing as they were stretched to the maximum before pulling off a hard fought 15-10 victory over the reigning league champions Isipathana at Pallekele.

The key player for Royal will be their dynamic flanker Hamza Reeza who has already made a lasting impression in the current season while emerging as the most successful try scorer in the league tournament.

Reeza is in tremendous form having scored two match-winning tries in last week’s vital game against Wesley and in the previous outing he went on the rampage to score five tries against Zahira College.

In addition, Janidu Dilshan (7 tries) and Sabith Feroze (6 tries) have also been consistent try scores for Royal in the current season with Mohamed Shaqir living upto expectations as a reliable place kicker.

Trinity’s main weapon will be Diluksha Dange who has scored eight tries in the league tournament while Reshan Madena and Akitha Sakalasuriya have scored five tries each.

Trinity will be also hoping for an improved performance from their place kicker Lashane Wijesuriya who has experienced mixed fortunes in the current season.

Delayed kick-offs and uncalled for stoppages ruining schools rugby

May 5, 2017 by · 3 Comments 

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By Shehan Daniel

For all the on field quality in the ongoing Under-20 Schools Rugby Tournament, poor organisation and administration has left much to be desired for spectators and fans who patronise these venues, with delayed kick-offs and uncalled for stoppages, which has an adverse impact on the rhythm and flow of play.

In fact, last week’s match between Trinity College and St. Peter’s College was a case in point with the game finishing well after the scheduled time of conclusion with it ending in near darkness.

‘Daily Mirror’ spoke to World Rugby qualified accredited Match Commissioner Dilroy Fernando, one of the most recognizable faces in local rugby.

He said that it was not the only such incident this season that highlighted the want of organisation and administration, which he added was not only unfair to spectators, who are charged to watch matches, but also have an impact on the safety of players.

“Our Under-18 and Under-20 rugby is among the best in Asia yet are we among the best in organising matches? Sri Lanka has a strong following for schools rugby and from my experience is probably second only to Japan in the whole of Asia. But it is sad to see the standard being set by the Schools Association (Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association), match commissioners’ and schools themselves in ensuring that there is a quality product for spectators who pay and attend matches. Games don’t start on time because of school anthems, player introductions and the arrival of the chief guests which are of secondary importance, compared to the players and the game itself,” Fernando said.

“When games finish in darkness there is concern about player safety and welfare, and is also a compromise on the quality of the product spectators pay for. Referees and match officials need to work back from the time of kick-off to ensure that whatever precedes the game doesn’t delay the starting time, with enough time given for preparation for players and officials. It is also important to give the players two or three minutes to warm-up after the pre-match formalities as well.”

“Are the schools, match commissioners and organisers really concerned about player safety and welfare?” Fernando questioned.

Fernando, who conducted a training programme for match officials, also expressed his shock at the lack of understanding among match commissioners’ on what their roles are.

“There is also a lack of understanding among match commissioners. Being a qualified match commissioner I undertook to train match commissioners and shockingly they thought their roles were limited to just keeping track of scorers and other statistics during the course of the game. I have had to explain that they play an important role in ensuring that the match conditions are adequate and suitable, and that they are also responsible to make sure everything happens on time,” Fernando said.

“They also need to be active and engaged in the game.”

Fernando also said that the improper implementation of the Television Match Official (TMO) had made it virtually redundant and become part of the problem.

“Do we really need this TMO? Who does it benefit? There needs to be a proper protocol in what is referred to the TMO and sometimes it takes several minutes for the TMO to arrive at a decision and that too, inconclusively. Even those stoppages can lead to player injuries, since their bodies cool down during those delays,” Fernando said.

“There needs to be suitable infrastructure and protocol for the TMO to be implemented properly. World Rugby is doing everything they can to speed up the game, so delays like this don’t really help,” Fernando also said, driving home his strong argument.

Review: Giant-killing Petes stun Trinity

May 5, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

St. Peter’s College have done it again and this time in a more spectacular manner. Last week, at Bambalapitya they created the second major upset of the Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament.

The Peterites produced another giant killing performance to bring down the high riding unbeaten Trinity College side 15-13 in a thrilling second-round opening fixture.

This was a tremendous achievement for the Peterites considering the fact that they went into this vital game at the backdrop of some uncertainty after having suffered two successive defeats at the hands of St. Joseph’s College and Dharmaraja College respectively.

In addition St. Peter’s were under great amount of pressure to perform well as they started the game minus a couple of key players who were still recovering from injuries.

In contrast, Trinity had all the reasons to feel confident as they went in with a clean record having made a clean sweep during the first-round of the competition and as the only side to remain unbeaten in the tournament.

However, Trinity’s hopes were completely shattered as the Peterites grabbed the opportunity to showcase their capabilities while collecting their points from one goal, one try and one penalty.

Trinity of course could have even forced a draw had they converted their second try but altogether this was certainly not their day as the visitors struggled to put up a decent performance under pressure.

In fact, Trinity were guilty of making a series of cardinal errors at some vital stages of the game and they will need to brush up all their mistakes before going into the next game of the second-round tournament.

In contrast, this success will certainly be a huge morale booster for St. Peter’s ahead of their remaining fixtures of the second-round.

They managed to secure only three victories in the first-round of the league but now they have a very good chance of causing a major threat to some of the more fancied teams in the tournament.

Royal vs S. Thomas’

Royal College put up a clinical performance to beat their traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College 31-14 in another Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Mount Lavinia.

After the exchanges were almost even during the first half, Royal cut loose in the second half in typical style as they sealed the game in their favour with three classic tries during the latter stages.

Royal also regained the Michael Gunaratne Trophy as they collected their points from three goals and two tries after trailing 12-14 at half time while the Thomians managed to score only two goals.

The manner in which Royal turned the game in their favour in the second half was simply outstanding as all three tries were the result of some brilliant counter attacks which they executed to perfection.

In contrast, S. Thomas’ just could not exploit the home advantage as they looked a pretty ordinary side which largely depended heavily on a couple of individuals.

Wesley vs St. Joseph’s

Wesley College delivered a stunning blow as they defeated St. Joseph’s College 23-14 in another Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.

The Wesleyites seem to be enjoying playing their game under pressure as once again they were severely tested throughout the match but were able to hold their nerves and record a very important victory in the end.

Wesley ensured that they made the least amount of mistakes on the field and applied more pressure on the opposition which enabled them to touch down on two occasions.

Even then, the outstanding place kicking of their scrum half Avishka Lee had a huge bearing on the final outcome of this game as he stamped his class once again with three magnificent penalties and two vital conversions.

The Josephians of course will be really disappointed with the result as they came into this game with their heads high after having recorded four successive victories in the first-round of the league tournament.

Isipathana vs Zahira

Isipathana College started their second-round campaign of the Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament with a smashing 48-10 triumph over Zahira College in their encounter played at Havelock Park.

This was a wonderful performance by Isipathana who used all their experience and tactics of the game to outclass their opponents while collecting their points from four goals and four tries.

In fact, Isipathana raced to a huge 26-5 lead at half time as they ran circles around the Zahiradefence and went on to consolidate their position during the second half.

Zahira of course did not know what exactly hit them initially as they conceded too many tries to their opponents in the first half and from there onwards they never looked like making a match of it.

Petes end Trinity’s unbeaten record

April 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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St. Peter’s College created another major upset as they brought down the unbeaten Trinity side 15-13 in a thrilling Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament second-round match worked off at Bambalapitiya on Saturday (29).

Trinity

The Peterites after their stunning win over Isipathana College in a first-round fixture put up another giant killing performance as they collected their points from one goal, one try and one penalty.

Trinity of course took the initiative as they built up a close 8-3 lead at half time but some crucial mistakes cost them the match as they responded with two unconverted tries and one penalty.

Royal down Thomians to regain Gunaratne Trophy

April 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

Royal College regained the Michael Gunaratne Trophy when they defeated their traditional rivals S. Thomas’ College 31-14 in their Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament second-round fixture worked off at Mount Lavinia on Saturday (29).

royal

Royal who were trailing 12-14 at half time came back strongly with a spirited performance in the second half to turn the game in their favour while collecting their points from three goals and two tries.

The Thomians after a promising start completely lost their way during the latter part of the second half as they surrendered quite meekly while managing to score only two converted tries.

Royal opened scoring shortly after the kick-off with JaniduDilshan going over for a magnificent try with Mohamed Shakir adding the extra points.

However, S. Thomas’ bounced back in style with Christian de Lile adding the finishing touches to a superb move and Dion Dias made no mistake with the conversion to make it 7-7.

Few minutes later, S. Feroze found a huge gap in the Thomiandefenceand Shakir missed the conversion but Royal managed to extend the lead to a commanding 12-7 at that stage.

S. Thomas’ hit back almost immediately and succeeded in putting the opposition under pressure while bringing play into the Royal territory through some excellent rucking and mauling.

The home side managed to penetrate the Royal defence for the second time in the match as H. Senanayake went over following a crucial five metre scrum. Dias added the extra points and S. Thomas’ went into half time with a 14-12 lead.

But the Thomians could not add any points to their tally in the second half with Royal taking full control of the situation with their forwards and the three quarters forming a great combination.

The team from Reid Avenue planted three classic tries during a dominant second half performance with S. Feroze, R. Fernando and Y. Rashmika doing the honours in style.

Skakir managed to convert only one try but yet Royal ran out victorious by a convincing margin of 31-14.

Wesley stun lackluster Joes to claim emphatic victory

April 29, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Shannon Nicholas

Wesley College proved to be too strong for St. Joseph’s College as they held on to a 23–14 win in the first game of round two of the Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament 2017 held at the CR & FC Grounds on Friday (28).

Wesley

 

The winners collected their points through two goals and three penalties while the losers were only able to gather two goals. The ‘Double Blues’ held a 09-00 advantage over their opponents at lemons.

The Wesleyites finished second best at the group stages after some great performances while the Joes finished one place below them, and the affair was tipped to be an exciting one.

Wesley started off brilliantly, pushing themselves deeper into Josephian territory in view of inflicting an early damage on the Joes. They managed to draw first blood with just 8 minutes in to the game when Avishka Lee bisected the poles after being awarded a penalty. Wesley kept attacking and earned themselves a penalty which was successfully converted by Avishka 15 minutes later, which doubled their lead.

Both teams were not able to alter the scoreboard for some time although many chances of scoring were missed.

Wesley managed to break the silence on the verge of half-time when Avishka was successful yet again in kicking the ball between the poles before Referee Rohan Fernando blew for half-time. Half-time scores: Wesley 9 – 0 Joseph’s

The Joes must have taken maximum advantage of the short break as a rejuvenated Josephian outfit was seen as play was resumed.

They started off strongly and managed to put up their first points for the day when Skipper Vinul Fernando touched down after some nifty team play with just a few minutes into the second half. Chathura Senevirathne added the extras with ease and the scores were set to 9 – 7.

Vinul came close to scoring a second try few minutes later when he dashed past a disarrayed Wesley backline to touchdown but the Referee cancelled it due to a knockon which had taken place prior to it. Wesley Captain Denister Goonethilake got the better of the Josephian defence as he crossed the line to plant Wesley’s first try of the day.

After some passing dangerously close to the try line, Wesley overcame the Joes’ defence as Goonethilake slipped through for the try. Avishka was on point with the conversion and the scores were altered to 16 – 7. Both teams kept attacking in search of points but failed to do so for more than 30 minutes, during which many close chances were witnessed.

Wesley dominated possession however and would’ve almost scored if not for the Josephians who stood tall to prevent any slip-ups. Channa Ashoka pulled one back for the Josephians when the scrum-half collected the ball through a throw-in close to the try line and went over to touch down. Senevirathne was successful at the conversion and the scores were made 16 – 14.

With time running out for them, the Josephians put on a valiant try to continue with the momentum built and putting up more points but all hope was lost when Wesley were awarded a penalty try after a collective team effort.

Avishka converted and altered the scores for one last time to 23 – 14 before the Referee blew the long whistle.

Wesley and St. Joseph’s looking to consolidate

April 28, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

Two equally good teams St. Joseph’s College and Wesley College will be looking to make a winning start to their second-round campaign when they clash in a Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament fixture at Longden Place on Friday (28).

Both teams were able to make vast strides during the first-round almost in similar style and this confrontation should turn out to be a vital encounter in an attempt to consolidate their position.

The Wesleyites have been riding on a crest of a wave since their initial setback in the tournament where they suffered a morale shattering 24-64 defeat at the hands of Trinity College in the opening match of the league at Longden Place.

But since then the team from Campbell Park have improved tremendously to make rapid progress as they went on to record four successive victories over Prince of Wales College (28-10), S. Thomas’ College (23-19), Science College Mount Lavinia (36-10) and Zahira College (32-29) respectively.

As a result Wesley were able to complete the first-round on a high note and were placed as the team with the second best average (4.7) in the points table which put them even ahead of the more fancied Isipathana College (4.67) and Royal College (4.58).

St. Joseph’s also made a disastrous start to the tournament while losing their first two matches even though they were within a chance of pulling off the game in both outings.

They made a lasting impression in their very first outing while providing Royal plenty of anxious moments before going down fighting 22-28 in a thrilling encounter at the Royal Sports Complex.

The Josephians then stretched the defending champions Isipathana College to the maximum in their second outing before they eventually surrendered 32-39 following a gruelling encounter played at Longden Place.

But thereafter, St. Joseph’s have been unstoppable as they went on to complete the first-round with four back-to-back impressive victories over Dharmaraja College (44-10), St. Anthony’s College (24-11), St. Peter’s College (25-10) and D. S. Senanayake College (72-10).

Even then Wesley will take the field under some kind of pressure as they suffered a shock defeat at the hands of their traditional rivals Kingswood College in their annual encounter played at the Bogambara Stadium in Kandy last week.

The Joes of course possess a formidable side and they have some genuine match winners in the calibre of Sachin Silva (6 tries), ChaturaSeneviratne (4), Vinul Fernando (4) and Gamunu Chethiya (4).

Avantha Lee has been really outstanding for Wesley with six magnificent tries to his credit while his twin brother Avishka Lee has scored three tries in addition to putting over three penalties and making ten conversions for his side.

Pathana to face acid test from Zahira

April 27, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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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.

Review: Pathana power prevail over Joes

March 7, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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By Chris Dhambarage

Isipathana College kept their reputation as a true champion team when they brought down a fighting St. Joseph’s College outfit 39-32 in an exciting Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.

The reigning ‘A’ Division champions came under tremendous pressure but they exhibited their wonderful rugby skills and character to seal a memorable victory in one of the most fascinating schools rugby matches played this season.

After a scrappy opening fixture against Dharmaraja College last week, Isipathana really proved they mean business as they collected their points from two goals and five tries after leading 17-15 at half time.

Even then, this was another missed opportunity for St. Joseph’s as they came close to pulling off a historic victory before falling short as they responded with three goals, one try and two penalties.

In fact, the Josephians believed they had the game in their custody when they dished out some power rugby to touch down twice shortly after the interval and to build up a vital 29-17 lead at that stage.

But this Isipathana team was not prepared to surrender the gamer to their opponents as they fought back magnificently during the later stages to turn the game in their favour.

Dynamic winger N. Chaminda had the distinction of scoring three tries but full back Chamod Fernando was simply outstanding and his two tries came at crucial stages of the game.

Chatura Seneviratne had an excellent game for St. Joseph’s scoring a try in addition to converting three tries and also fired across two neat penalties.

St. Peter’s vs Royal

Royal College continued their dominance over St. Peter’s College as they pulled off a hard fought 17-10 victory in their Inter-Schools Under-20 Rugby Tournament match played at Bambalapitiya.

The winners also had the satisfaction of retaining the B. C. Anghie Trophy for the fourth successive year while collecting their points from one goal and two tries with all their scoring coming in the first half.

The Peterites of course came back strongly in the second half while scoring their solitary try but were deprived of victory due to some solid cover defence from their opponents.

In fact, this was a match where Royal won largely because of some clever defensive work as they spoiled a series of threatening five-metre scrums and three quarter moves during a tense last few minutes of the game.

The Royal forwards of course did the early damage by scoring three classic tries to build up a psychological advantage and they managed to hold on to the lead until the final whistle.

Zahiravs S. Thomas’

Zahira College came close to creating another major upset as they went down fighting 24-29 against S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia in their Singer Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament match worked off at Maradana.

The newcomers to top division rugby who had toppled Science College Mount Lavinia in their opening fixture of the tournament last week produced another breathtaking performance before going down following a close contest.

In fact, the Thomians could consider themselves fortunate to pull off this game as they survived many anxious moments during the latter stages having collected their points from two goals and three tries.

Zahira were trailing 12-22 at half time but they really came back into the game in the second half with a powerful performance and responded with two goals and two tries.

Science College vs Trinity

Trinity College powered their way to a comprehensive 52-7 victory over Science College Mount Lavinia in their Singer Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament fxture worked off at Havelock Park.

The Trinitians successfully managed to cross the 50-point mark for the second successive week as they dominated the proceedings while collecting their points from seven goals and one penalty.

Science College who were trailing 0-17 at half time will be disappointed with their second straight defeat in the tournament as they managed to score only a solitary goal.

St. Anthony’s vs D. S. Senanayake

St. Anthony’s College produced a fine performance to outplay D. S. Senanayake College 54-25 in their Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match worked off at the Pallekele Stadium in Kandy.

The Antonians after conceding an early try to their opponents recovered magnificently and went on to dictate terms as they collected their points from seven goals and one try having led 26-11 at half time.

D. S. Senanayake of course showed early promise and threatened to dominate the proceedings but they were lacking in consistency and managed to score only two goals, one try and two penalties.

Wesley vs Prince of Wales

An under-strength Wesley College team managed to pull off a morale boosting 28-10 victory over Prince of Wales in their Inter-Schools Under-20 League Rugby Tournament match played at Longden Place.

The Wesleyites will be quite pleased with their effort as some of their key players were not available for this game due a ban imposed by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association following last week’s fixture against Trinity College.

But still they were able to get their act together well and went on to complete a comprehensive victory while collecting their points from one goal, three tries and two penalties.

The Cambrians of course made a determined effort to push their more fancied opponents but lacked the finishing touches as they responded with just one goal and one penalty.

Kingswood down Isipathana to emerge Cup champions

September 15, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Kingswood College cruised to a comfortable 21 points to 05 win over Isipathana College in the final of the Milo Under 18 inter-schools rugby tournament played at Longdon Place on Thursday to emerge the Cup champions.

Kingswood

Kinsgwood having led 07-00 at the breather accumulated their points through three goals against the solitary try scored by Isipathana.

The try scorers for the champion Kingswood side were K. M. Kulasekera, J. A. Ratnayake and A. J. Dilshan while S.T. Seneviratne made the three conversions while Nadeesha Jayampathi scored the try for Isipathana.

Earlier in the day Maliyadeva scored a run-away 44-0 win over Moratu MV to take the Shield title. Maliyadeva having taken a comfortable 25-00 at lemons made up their points from two goals and six tries.

Trinity bagged the Bowl title with a convincing 41-00 win against home town rivals Vidyartha. Trinity led 12-00 at the breather whilst making up their points through three goals and four tries.

The Plate final too turned out to be a one-sided affair with St. Joseph’s College winning the title with an easy 38-03 over St. John’s College Nugegoda. St. Joseph’s having taken a 14-00 lead at the short whistle got their points off four goals and two tries to the solitary penalty of St. John’s.

Home ground could finally be a reality for Pathana

September 14, 2016 by · 4 Comments 

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Triple schools-rugby title-winning Isipathana College may finally have a ground of their own, if an initiative led by Minister of Telecom and Digital Infrastructure Development Harin Fernando proves successful.

Harin Rugby insert

Isipathana, despite being the most successful rugby playing school in the country for almost three decades, has not had the privilege of playing ‘home’ matches as they do not have a ground of their own. The ‘Green Machine’ played their designated home matches last season at either the nearby Havelocks Sports Club Grounds or at the CR & FC Grounds in Longdon Place.

Minister Fernando, a rugby enthusiast who played an active role in the organizing of the recent Sri Lanka Super Sevens Tournament, said that discussions were ongoing and the support of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Minister of Development Policies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama will be sought to allocate the school a ground.

“We have identified an area in Narahenpita (along Kirimandala Mawatha) and the other option is the Henry Pedris Grounds. I would prefer the latter as that is walking distance from the school,” the Minister said. “There are a few things that need to be worked out such as the cost of the place, but we are hopeful we can sort that out.”

The Minister also handed over a cheque worth over Rs. 5 million to the school – money the Minister had received after auctioning a New Zealand All Blacks jersey signed by the 2015 Rugby World Cup winning team recently – when he met school officials yesterday.

“When you look at the quality of rugby that the school has produced with the limited infrastructure that is available to them, it is unbelievable the success they have had. They have rendered an enormous service to Sri Lankan Rugby, with their talent and their Trophies, and have always been the best team with minimum facilities,” Minister Fernando said. “Some schools spend between Rs. 15-25 million every season, and Isipathana keep winning the league despite having a far smaller budget.”

The Minister, who is an oldboy of St. Joseph’s College, said he was moved to auction the signed All Blacks Jersey, which he was given when he attended the Rugby World Cup final last year, after watching the final match of the schools league tournament between Isipathana and S. Thomas’ College, where he witnessed the quality of the school’s rugby.

“Isipathana have always been the team to beat and I remember when I was eight and my cousin played for the St. Joseph’s team and beat them, what it meant to our school. The passion they have for rugby and the guts and might they show on the field is incredible and I think they are fully deserving of this donation. Schools like this must be supported and encouraged,” he said.

Senior Vice-President of the Isipathana Oldboys Association Rajeew Rodrigo confirmed that plans were afoot to sort out a ground for the school, and that a third location, Shalika Grounds, was also considered, but since it was owned by the Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) it would be a difficult proposition. He said the school plays 12 outdoor sports, which would also have to be considered. The cost of development, he said, will be incurred by the school once it was given the land.

Rodrigo said that the money donated to the school would not be injected into the day to day rugby expenses but would be put into a fund which the school will add to yearly.

“We have decided to put this Rs. 5.1 million into a Rugby Fund, and add to it yearly so that in an event we have a sponsorship shortfall in the future we could rely on this fund,” he said.

“We are grateful to Minister Fernando for his support even though he is an oldboy of a school that is also in the ‘A’ Division. He has been involved with developing St. Joseph’s Rugby, so we are thankful that he has come forward to help us, a rival school,” he added.

Interestingly Isipathana College have advertised for a First XV Coach, following the reported signing of title-winning Coach Nilfer Ibrahim by St. Joseph’s for the upcoming season.

Royal blown away by Pathana storm

July 13, 2016 by · 12 Comments 

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The final of the Milo Under 20 Schools President’s Trophy knockout tournament was anything but the thriller it was expected to be, with Isipathana College crushing Royal College 47 points to 12 in a one-sided game at the Race Course International Stadium yesterday.

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The Pathanians had done their homework and had the Royalists struggling for survival, racing to a comfortable 19 points to 7 lead at the breather and they added a further 28 points in the second half, as opposed to the solitary try scored by the latter.

Isipathana’s tally came off seven tries, of which six were converted, while Royal were able to score a goal and a try.

The hero of the Pathanians was their scrumhalf Randy Silva who went over for three tries while centre and playmaker Sumudu Rankothge and winger Ranindu Pramod shared two tries each, with fullback Gayan Wickramaratne making five conversions.

For Royal, deputy skipper and scrum half Ashok Wijekumar went over for the first try and hooker Azmir Fajudeen scored the other with flyhalf Ovin Askey converting one of them.

It was Royal who went into attack at kick-off as they gave their opponents some anxious moments but threw away opportunities of surging forward due to selfish play. Isipathana, noted for their robust play, put up the first score on the board in the 14th minute with centre Sumudu Rankothge going over for a try and Gayan adding the extra points.

Twelve minutes later Isipathana increased the lead with scrumhalf Randy Silva’s unconverted try.

Royal were unable to execute their rolling maul as the Pathanians had come prepared. They did however succeed to reduce the deficit off a five-metre scrum with Ashok Wijekumar sizzling through for a try down the right corner flag with flyhalf Ovin Askey making no mistake with the conversion.

Isipathana undeterred got their act together as skipper and centre Kushan Indunil scored in the dying stages of the first half with Gayan booting over the conversion, which saw the two sides change over with the Pathanians standing on a healthy 19-7 lead. On resumption the Pathanians changed their plan getting into stride. In the second minute Randy Silva went over for his second try, with Gayan adding the extra points, their lead increasing to 26-7.

Royal went into attack but their poor ball handling let them down. They managed to breach the Isipathana defence ten minutes later however with a repeat of the first-half try, scored by hooker Azmir Fajudeen who was a marked man.

Later a hat-trick of tries by Isipathana, who from there onwards dominated, saw them almost seal the game with Sumudu Rankothge going over for a try in the 25th minute. Winger Randy Silva followed with his third try 11 minutes later and the last try was scored by Ranidu Pramod which was his second of the match — a peach of try as he grabbed the ball in Royal territory and sprinted over 70 metres for an under the post try.

The three tries were converted — one by Gayan and the other two by Randu Pramod — with which the long whistle was blown by referee Rohan Fernando as Isipathana regained the title which they surrendered to Science College last year, and in the process they bagged their seventh Milo President’s Trophy, since it started in 1995.

Final decision on Rugby brawls on Monday

June 24, 2016 by · 1 Comment 

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The final decision on the recent rugby brawls witnessed in the schools rugby season would be taken on Monday, at a meeting to be held at the Royal College premises. After an disciplinary inquiry that took place on the 22nd, the meeting is to decide the fate of the players and schools who have been accused of breaking the rules at recent games.

Speaking to the Daily Mirror, Sunil Jayaweera, Sports Consultant at the Ministry of Education, said that a decision would be taken regarding all the fights that had taken place this season. “There would be a meeting at the Royal College on Monday. We would be taking the final decision on all these wrongdoers. Punishments would be given on an unbiased basis. This won’t only be about the brawl at the St. Joseph’s-Dharmaraja game. It would be unfair to only punish those two schools. They were not the only ones to take the law into their own hands. Players of other schools had done it this season. There was a fight at the Trinity-Royal game, as well as at the Isipathana-S. Thomas’ game. There were many more throughout the season. Thus we will be taking severe action against all these wrongdoers as a whole. Punishments would be given to all schools and players without any differences,” he said.

Speaking further he went on to say, “We will be looking as to why these players tend to get into fights and also ways of minimizing them in the future. If this is not done immediately, the future of the sport looks bleak. These players are the future players at the international stage. Thus it is important to shape a player who respects the game.”

Isipathana begin campaign with massive win

March 22, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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Isipathana began their Singer U20 inter-school rugby season with a massive win over Dharmaraja whom they crushed by 61 points to 15 in the match played at Longdon Place.

Chamod Fernando 1

Isipathana having taken a comfortable 37-03 lead at the breather made up their points through four goals, six tries and a penalty to a goal, a try and a penalty scored by Dharmaraja.

Isipathana’s winger Chamod Fernando was in top form as he went over for a hat-trick of tries going over for one in the first half and two in the second half.

Isipathana went on the rampage as they posted six tries in the first half which began with flanker Devin Gunaratne before Dharmarja’s full back Sanju Deshapriya booted over a penalty.

From there on the Pathanas had things their own way as the Rajans had little to offer or to prevent them scoring at will. Winger Chamod planted the second try for his side which followed by winger Ravindu Padmasanka booting over a penalty.

The Havelock Park boys playing a cool and calculated game succeeded in scoring a hat-trick of tries through centre Sumudu Rankothge, second centre Kushan Indunil and full back Gayan Wickratamaratne with Padmasanka making two conversions which saw them lead 37-3 at lemons.

On resumption the Rajans surprised their opponents as they made the first scoring within the first three minutes with center Gihan Malinga going over for an unconverted try but the Pathanas struck back two minutes later with winger Chamod Fernando going for his second try.

Isipathana further increased the lead four minutes later with burly No 8 Wageesha Weerasinghe dragging some of his opponents before going over for an under the post try which gave Padmasanka an easy kick at goal.

Rajans scrum half Prabath Bandara gave his supporters some relief but it was not going to get them near the Pathanas scoring line when he crept through a scrimmage for a try with fly half Tharuka Galapitigedera adding the extra points.

Though it took nearly another 15 minutes for the next scoring to be done which was by Isipathana from a try by center Randy Silva, the game was almost as over before winger Chamod sealed the game for his side with his third try which was converted by center Dileeka Hettiarachchi.

Isipathana winger Chamod Fernando who ended with three tries is seen going over for his first and his sides’ second try of the match.

Trinity and Wesley to kick off Schools Rugby League 2016

March 16, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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IMG_1329 caption

The Singer Schools Rugby League 2016 will commence on the March 18 when Trinity College, Kandy host Wesley College, Colombo at Kandy. It will be followed by the St. Thomas’ College and St. Joseph’s College encounter at CR & FC Grounds and the tie between defending champions Royal College and D. S. Senanayake College at the Royal College Complex.

The 2016 season of the Under-19 School Rugby tournament will see 226 matches in total amongst 69 schools, spread across 3 Divisions. Division I will be divided into 6 segments of 6 teams each, Division 2 will include 4 segments with a total of 22 teams while Division 3 will consist of 11 teams split into 2 segments. The teams will battle it out for the Cup, Plate, Bowl and Shield trophies across the 3 Divisions.

Meanwhile Susantha Mendis, Secretary of Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SLSRFA), said that they will look to complete the school rugby season by June, as there were concerns that the season was affecting the academics of the players.

“Many players are studying for their Advanced Level examinations. By the time that all tournaments end, it is almost August and many parents discourage these rugby tournaments due to the lack of time for the exams. Thus we decided to conduct the league games a bit earlier which will be followed by the knockouts and the Sevens tournament. We hope to end the tournaments by June, which will in turn provide adequate time for the players to focus and prepare for their exams,” he said.

President of the SLSRFA, Ranjith Chandrasekera said that all rules and regulations will be strictly seen to in order to retain the quality of the tournament. “We had a workshop with the coaches, captains and vice-captains of all participating schools. We mainly made them aware of the rules and regulations of the tournament. Also we advised them about the usage of banned substances and that serious action will be taken if anyone is found guilty. We are hoping to take anti-doping tests at random, to have efficient results,” he said.

He also said that Singer’s involvement in the game of rugby in Sri Lanka has helped them to take the sport to the rural areas. “We are thankful for their continued support over the past 12 years and look forward to grow this bond between the two organizations in years to come,” he added.

Mr. Mahesh Wijewardene, Director of Marketing and Commercial, Singer Sri Lanka stated, “We are proud to be associated with the prestigious Schools Rugby League 2016. Singer Sri Lanka has always believed in empowering the youth of the nation by getting them to embrace sports. Sports help instill discipline, respect, confidence and teamwork, all of which are vital characteristics needed by today’s young leaders. By supporting Sri Lankan youth across the country, we are indeed investing in the future of Sri Lanka.”

He further added, “Singer Sri Lanka will continue to provide special workshops conducted by both locally and internationally qualified trainers to all match officials, school coaches, and players. In the past we have provided opportunities for our local talent to participate in international Rugby Tournaments such as Junior Rugby Asiad supporting the game of rugby.”

 
From L-R: H. J. K. N. Wijerama, Treasurer, Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association, Kumar Samarasinghe, Director Sales, Singer Sri Lanka PLC, Mahesh Wijewardene, Director of Marketing and Commercial, Singer  Sri Lanka PLC, Ranjith Chandrasekera, President, SLSRFA and Susantha Mendis, Secretary, SLSRFA.

Thomians clinch schools’ 7s title after 22 Years

February 1, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

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S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavania hit the day lights out of hot favourites Isipathana College and clinched the All Island Singer Schools 7s title with a 19-14 win in the final played at the Royal Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue yesterday.

thomian team

In the process the Thomians, led by Naveen Henakankanamage, clinched the Schools 7s title after a lapse of 22 years, with their last championship coming in 1994 under the captaincy of Nalin Wijegunawardena.

The finale saw Pathana lead 7-0 at the breather – that score coming from an under-the-post try scored by Anuraga Rangapriya which was converted by Ryan Wickramaratne in the seventh minute.

The Thomians were in their opponent’s territory most of the first-half but failed to penetrate the Pathana defense. But the Pathanians grabbed the only opportunity they received and succeeded in scoring.

The second half was closely contested affair but again the Thomians were in attack, this time succeeding in equalizing in the third minute from a try scored by Thanuja Wijeratne with Aswantha Herath making no mistake with the conversion.

Bolstered by the try S. Thomas’ put in more pressure as they went on the attack and succeeded to take the lead two minutes later from a corner try scored by Praveen Ferdinando but the conversion was too difficult.

Two minutes later Isipathana sent their supporters wild as they went into the lead with Randy Silva going over for another under-the-posts try which was converted by Ryan.

The Thomians were undeterred in a do-or-die effort and shocked the Pathanians when Bumindra Dissanayake sizzled past their defenders to go over for a try in the dying stages of the match and with Aswantha booting over the conversion they dashed the hopes of the Pathanians from clinching the schools 7s title for the 21st time.

Vidyartha took the Shield defeating Maliyadeva while Dharmaraja took the Bowl overcoming Lalith Athulathmudali MMV and Science bagged the Plate with a convincing win over St Peter’s.

Results:

Quarter Finals:
Shield – Vidyartha beat St. John’s Nugegoda 28-7; Lumbini MV beat St. Sylvester’s 14-7; Maliyadeva beat Ananda 26-0; Thurstan beat Piliyandala MMV 19-17
Bowl – Dharmaraja beat Wesley 14-10; Prince of Wales beat Zahira 12-10; D. S. Senanayake beat CWW Kannangara MMV 22-7; Lalith Athulathmudali MMV beat Mahanama 24-5
Cup – S. Thomas’ beat St Peter’s 14-12; Kingswood beat Trinity 12-10; St. Joseph’s beat Science 12-10; Isipathana beat Royal 15-7

Semi Finals:
Shield – Vidyartha beat Lumbini MV 14-7; Maliyadeva beat Thurstan 7-5
Bowl – Dharmaraja beat Prince of Wales 7-0; Lalith Athulathmudali MMV beat DSS 12-10
Plate – St. Peter’s beat Trinity 21-12; Science beat Royal 17-12
Cup – S. Thomas’ beat Kingswood 21-7; Isipathana beat St Joseph’s 22-7

Finals:
Shield – Vidyartha beat Maliyadeva 46-7; Bowl – Dharmaraja beat Lalith Athulathmudali MMV 52-5; Plate – Science beat St Peter’s 24-7; Cup – S. Thomas’ beat Isipathana 19-14

Science dethrone Isipathana for historic title win

July 13, 2015 by · Leave a Comment 

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Giant Killers Science College Mt Lavinia dethroned defending champions Isipathana with a historic title clinching performance by recording a thrilling 21 points to 18 win in the final of the Milo President’s Trophy schools rugby tournament played at the Royal Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue yesterday.

Science team

Science captain Lasindu Ishan receiving the Milo President’s Trophy from chief guest Nimal Lewke.

In the process the Mt Lavinia boy’s having taken to the sport in the early 1970’s bagged their first ever major schools rugby title.

In fact they were trailing 7-15 at the breather but then came back to rattle the boy’s from Havelock town in the second half and in the process made up their scoring through three goals to a goal, a try and two penalties scored by Isipathana.

Isipathana came into the game as the hot favourites due to the fact that they were the league runner up and also had won with ease (45-20) when the two sides’ met each other in the league championship.

Isipathana kept up to their reputation early on as they made the scoring in the very first minute through an unconverted try scored by full back Rehan Silva and then increased their lead three minutes later from a penalty booted over by fly half Isuru Kongahawatte.

The game turned out to electrifying with both sides dishing top class rugby with Science going head to head against their opponents. They gave the Pathans some anxious moments and in fact made them to defend their own style of play.

It also turned out to be a game played with immense speed by both the teams. Science playing with more cohesion was able to penetrate the Pathans defence in the ninth minute with the star player centre Tharindu Maduranga going over for a try which he himself converted.

It was not going to be easy for Pathans as Science showed that they are prepared to face any opposition from them.

Isipathana had an opportunity of surging ahead but a penalty offered was fluffed at the halfway stage of this session. Science looked an improved side and had come well prepared as they gave Isipathana some torrid moments.

In the dying stages of this half Isipathana got their act together and succeeded to increase their lead with second row Chathura Dilshan barging his way through for an under the posts try. Kongahawatte obliged with the easy kick at goal for them to lead 15-7 at lemons. With both the sides’ playing fast open rugby predicting the final outcome was not going to be that easy, but an entertaining game was rest assured for the vast crowd of supporters of both the teams that had come to witness the game.

The pace of the game could be gauged as the first scoring was done in the second half after twelve minutes with Isipathana’s Isuru Kongahawatte booting over a penalty which incidentally was going to be the only success for them.

It took another ten minutes for the next scoring to be done and this time it was Science with their scrum half Hashan Madumadawa in a five metre scrum crept through to score under the posts and with Tharindu Maduranga making the conversion they were able to reduce the deficit to four points.

A peach of a try followed three minutes later in the 25th minute, when Science full back Supun Dilshan receiving a pass sprinted over 35 metres brushing aside many of his opponents for an under the posts try while Tharindu Maduranga added the extra points helping them take the lead 21-18.

From there on the Isipathanians panicked while Science played a well calculated game to defend their lead. Isipathana had an opportunity to equal the score when they received a kickable penalty which they preferred to work the line with no success in the end.

It was missed opportunities for the Science side too but that was expected as they were minutes away from an historic win which they fulfilled with one of their players kicking the ball out of play with which the long whistle was blown and with that they bagged their first major schools rugby title after four decades. Science fly half Nishad Neranjan was adjudged the best player of the tournament while Royal’s winger Bhanuka Ratnayake won the award for the most popular rugby player in a competition which was conducted by the sponsors Nestle Lanka Ltd.

Isipathana down Trinity with second-half burst

June 13, 2015 by · 1 Comment 

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Defending Singer League Under 20 champions Isipathana College continued their unbeaten run in the school Division 1A league tournament when they beat a determined Trinity College outfit 37 points (2 goals, 4 tries, 1 penalty) to 22 (2 goals, 1 try, 1 penalty) in their key school encounter which was played at the Trinity College Rugby Stadium at Pallekelle yesterday.

But at the short breather it was Trinity who led 15-8.

Trinity dominated the proceedings in the initial half playing some cohesive rugby but could not continue their good form in the second half. At times in the first half Isipathana made some critical errors but recovered later with some fantastic three-quarter running rugby which the Trinitians did not have an answer for. Trinity missed nearly three scoring chances including one on the try line, when Trinity scored in the right corner only to be disallowed by the touch judge D Nimal citing a knock on.

For Isipathana their skipper and Number 8 Omalka Gunaratne played a grand game leading the outfit. He was lightning fast on loose balls in attack it took nearly two to three Trinity players to stop him.

Trinity scored first through full back Saranga Gunatilake when the Pathana line was caught off side. But Isipathana hit back in no time through a Isuru Kongahawatte penalty.

In the next move Trinity’s Isuru Rangala collected a loose ball and ran 20 metres which ended in Diluksha Dange going over for a right corner flag try. Minutes later a well executed wing play saw Pathana Number 8 Gunaratne go over for a try. Then minutes before the short whistle Trinity full-back Saranga Gunatilake produced a piece of individual brilliance when he ran chipped and collected the ball and scored under the posts. The extra two points were added by Wijesuriya.

After the turnaround the Havelock Town lads scored through Dilshan, Alawathegama, Weerasinghe. For Trinity centre Sachintha Dissanayake score the try with full back Gunatilake adding the extra points, as Pathana pulled over.

Copyright © 2010 Mirror Sports  Wijeya Newspapers Ltd.