Royal recrowned on a platter | Sunday Observer

Royal recrowned on a platter

The champion Royal College rugby team celebrate with the Singer inter-school League title after beating St. Peter’s College 32-13
The champion Royal College rugby team celebrate with the Singer inter-school League title after beating St. Peter’s College 32-13

St. Peter’s College produced 25 minutes of stunning rugby in a 35-minute first half to lead Royal College in the stakes, but gifted the home team two vital tries in nine minutes as the defending champions successfully retained the League title with a 32-13 win yesterday.

St. Peter’s College centre Rukshan Madushanka attempts to break through a tackle from Royal College’s Sabith Feroz in their inter-school League rugby match at the Royal Complex ground yesterday for the BC Anghie trophy (Picture by Chintaka Kumarasinghe) 

The Peterites smashed down every Royal move in the first half to almost have the session in the bag with a 3-0 lead while even stalling a rolling maul. But a high tackle unleashed on a Royal College player was all that changed the course of the game as the home side forcing a line-out off the penalty close to the try-line succeeded in their second attempt with a rolling maul for hooker Ifahan Fareed to score and Dulan Gunawardena to convert making the scores 7-3.

It did not take long for Royal to cross the line once more when the Peterites did not even bother to collect a high-ball kick and the end result was a second try scored by scrum half Mubeen Faleel for a 12-3 half time finish.

The Peterites were not supposed to win the match but were expected to go down with honour at a match befitting a title-decider and if the first half was given to Royal with a neglected defence, the second session was presented virtually on a platter.

This time the ball-handling errors on the part of the Peterites were all howlers shocking for their fans to witness and the wide open spaces they left in their defences had Royal’s players frolicking to score two more tries through centre Sabith Feroze and winger Pasindu Fernando with relative ease that made the ultimate difference between the two sides.

A few minutes earlier, Peterite full-back Shehan Liyanapathirana failed miserably in a clearance kick and Royal were given a launching pad to open their try-scoring in the second half when off an ensuing rolling maul Ifahan Fareed went over for his second try to make the scores 17-10.

Only once did the Peterites show some of their character in the second half when their forwards out-played the Royal pack for Faiz Abdulla to score and Liyanapathirana to make an easy conversion.

Eventually Royal marked one of their finest seasons as they picked up their fourth bilateral trophy, the BC Anghie prize, and when they had their hands on the League title it capped a dream year of five trophies.