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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.

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.

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.

Live update: Under 20 Schools Rugby – St. Joseph’s College vs St. Peter’s College, Isipathana College vs D. Senanayake College, St. Anthony’s College vs Dharmaraja College

April 1, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

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18:13 – At full time. St. Anthony’s College 34, Dharmaraja College 24

18:10 – St. Joseph’s College virtually seals the game with another converted try. St. Joseph’s 25, St. Peter’s College 10

18:06 – St. Peter’s College scores their second try to reduce the margin. St. Joseph’s 18, St. Peter’s 10 

18:00 – St, Anthony’s College further extend the lead with an unconverted try. St. Anthony’s 34, Dharmaraja 24

17:56 – At full time. Isipathana College 68, D. S. Senanayake College 13

17:54 – D. S. Senanayake College scores a consolation try. Isipathana College 13

17:45 – St. Peter’s scores their first try to reduce the lead. St. Joseph’s 13, St. Peter’s 05

17:43 – St. Joseph’s further extend the lead with an unconverted try. St. Joseph’s 13, St. Peter’s 00

17:40 – St. Anthony’s College regains the lead with  a converted try. St. Anthony’s 29, Dharmaraja 24

17:39 – Isipathana College College pile up more points with another try. Isipathana 69, D. S. Senanayake 08 

17:35 – Isipathana College scores another try. Isipathana 64, D. S. Senanayake 08

17:35 – St. Joseph’s extend lead with another penalty. St. Joseph’s 13, St. Peter’s 00

17:30 – Second half underway at Bambalapitiya 

17:29 – St. Anthony’s College reduced the margin with an unconverted try. Dharmaraja 24, St. Anthony’s 22

17:27 – Isipathana College scores another converted try. Isipathana 59, D. S. Senanayake 08

17:24 – Isipathana College tops the 50 point mark with a converted try. Isipathana 52, D. S. Senanayake 08

17:21 – Isipathana College further extend lead with a converted try. Isipathana 45, D. S. Senanayake 08

17:20 – At half-time. St. Joseph’s 10, St. Peter’s 00

17:19 – Dharmaraja College extend lead with an unconverted try. Dharmaraja 24, St. Anthony’s 17

17:17 – St. Joseph’s College extend their lead. St. Joseph’s 10, St. Peter’s 00 

17:13 – St. Joseph’s College open the scoring with a penalty. St. Joseph’s 03, St. Peter’s 00

17:09 – Second half underway at Welisara

17:08 – No scoring yet at Bambalapitiya after 30 minutes of play

17:06 – At half-time. Dharmaraja 19, St. Anthony’s 17

17:00 – At half-time. Isipathana 38, D. S. Senanayake 08

16:58 – St. Anthony’s College score their second try to reduce the lead. Dharmaraja 19, St. Anthony’s 17

16:57 – St. Peter’s College misses a penalty. St. Peter’s 00, St. Joseph’s 00 

16:55 – St. Anthony’s College puts over a penalty to reduce the margin. Dharmaraja 19, St. Anthony’s 10

16:54 – Isipathana College scores another converted try. Isipathana 38, D. S. Senanayake 08

16:50 – No scoring yet at Bambalapitiya 

16:50 – Dharmaraja College scores another try. Dharmaraja 19, St. Anthony’s 07

16:48 – Isipathana College plant another try. Isipathana 31, D. Senanayake 08

16:47 – Isipathana College scores again. Isipathana 26, D. S. Senanayake 08

16:47 – D. S. Senanayake put over a penalty.  Isipathana 19, D. S. Senanayake 08

16:45 – St. Anthony’s reduce the deficit with a converted try. Dharmaraja 12, St. Anthony’s 07

16:40 – Isipathana College score their third try to extend the lead. Isipathana 19, D. S. Senanayake 00

16:39 – D. Senanayake hits back with an unconverted try. Isipathana 14, D. S. Senanayake 05

16:38 – Dharmaraja College increase the lead with an unconverted try. Dharmaraja 12, St. Anthony’s 00

16:37 – Match started at Bambalapitiya between St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College

16:34 – Dharmaraja College open scoring with a converted try. Dharmaraja 07, St. Anthony’s College 00

16:34 – Isipathana College open scoring almost with the kick-off. Isipathana 07, D. S. Senanayake 00

16:30 – Matched kicked-off at Welisara between Isipathana College vs D. S. Senanayake College 

16:29 – St. Anthony’s College vs Dharmaraja College kicks off at Nittawela 

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