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St. Sylvester's in close 9-3 win

St. Sylvester's College, Kandy scored a close 9 points (3 penalties) to 3 (1 penalty) win over Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa in their Schools Singer Shield rugby tournament match played at the Bogambara Stadium in Kandy on Friday. At half-time, the Sylvestrians led 9-3.

But the match was marred by some unwarranted play in which players went for the man and not for the ball. Mid way in the second half the Cambrians kept pressing and were almost on their opponents goal line when they protested that one of their players fallen on the ground was subject to assault by an opposing player and walked off the field.

Referee Mohamed Faizal when asked for his comment said that there was no such incident nor did the touch judge had seen it and therefore he could not penalise any player. The Cambrians went out of the playing area and sat for a good 8 minutes before they were persuaded to play following intervention by former Sri Lanka player and Secretary of the Central Province RFU Viper Gunaratne Snr. and the Match Commissioner W. D. O. Wijewansa.

But a question remains to be answered whether a school team could walk out and stay out for 8 minutes countermanding a decision by the referee to continue with the game. This kind of indecorum must be wiped out in the early stages before it spreads.

Rugby-wise the Cambrians played well and they did not deserve to lose as they lacked the finish and definitely they were a better team. They missed a sitter of a penalty in front and also a drop goal in the final stages of the game which would have helped them to draw the match at least.

The Sylvestrians obtained their points through three penalties fired by winger Asanga Perera while fly half Anushka Uppthala put over the penalty for the Cambrians.

Mohammed Faizal who refereed the match said that he would be sending a report to the Rugby Referees Society on the conduct of the Cambrians team.

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