Champagne rugby to raise a toast at season opener | Sunday Observer

Champagne rugby to raise a toast at season opener

3 July, 2022

There was top shelf rugby in the opening week of matches in the much awaited inter-school league rugby season that recommenced after a two-year absence.

All the fancied teams won their matches with St. Peter’s College warming up in style to beat Dharmaraja College Kandy by 27 points to 12 in one of the most exciting games in the Dialog sponsored tournament this year.

It was a pleasing sight to see the Peterites and the Rajans running the ball at every given opportunity and dishing out some robust rugby to the delight of the cheering crowd.

At the end of the first half both teams dished out some superb rugby where the first half ended with a thrilling 12-12 scoreline.

The second half saw the Peterites storm back into the game with three quick tries to end the contest becoming worthy winners by 27 points through five tries scored by winger Dineth Ranasinghe, half back Rajith Ekanayake, flanker Ashane Madugaspe, winger Vishenka Silva and Yumeth Shihara with Vindya de Mel slotting in the only conversion while for the losing Rajans the two tries were scored by Vanuja Manthrige and winger Vimukthi Bandara with fly half Wijesiri firing across the solitary conversion.

Less sweat for Royal over Antonians

Royal College opened their season and did well to overcome St. Anthony’s College Kandy by 22 points to 12 at the Royal Complex after leading 10-5 at half time.

Both teams played a fast brand of rugby and exploited the mistakes of each other, but the Royal outfit appeared to play with more cohesion than their opponents the Antonians which resulted in the home team beginning their league quest on a promising note.

The second half put the Royalists on the ascendency when they scored two more tries that gave them a tally of four tries, the first by half back Kaveen Sasanga who slipped through down an empty blind-side to score the opener of the game just minutes after kick-off followed by Hasnaka Higgoda touching down for the second try.

Then came two more tries from Navin Perera when he dived over from the back of their trademark rolling mauls while skipper Bimsara Peiris put over the solitary conversion.

For the losing Antonians, their two tries were scored by winger Dissanayake and number eight Amarasinghe while Keerthisiri put over the only conversion.

Isipathana off to a positive start

Isipathana College’s rugby team has improved immensely from the last league tournament and did well to overcome their counterparts from Science College Mount Lavinia by 18 points to 9 in their match played at Havelock Park last week.

Even though the match was a closely contested affair, it was the green machine that impressed more on the day while the Science College lads appeared to be a jaded lot in the second half.

At half time Isipathana led 13 to 6.

Full-back Malith Mihisara, hooker Venura Sangeeth and Chamath Iroshan scored the tries for the winners Isipathana while their only penalty was put over by Malith Mihisara.

For the losing Science College, their fly-half N. Kaveesha slotted in the three penalties.

Wesley sounds a warning

As expected one of the favourites in the fray Wesley College thrashed a hapless Vidyartha College Kandy by 38 points to 7 after a half time score of 26-0.

Wesley took time to settle down as Vidyartha did a lot of spoiling work at the beginning.

But as the game progressed the Wesley boys exerted their authority over the inexperienced Vidyartha team and began mounting their set scrums thanks to some sleek hooking by their talented hooker.

In the line-outs Wesley jumpers completely out-jumped their opponents while in the loose the Wesley forwards played a tireless game spearheaded by their industrious number eight.

The Wesley three-quarters made some superb moves which caught the Vidyartha lads on the wrong foot many times over and over again in the entire match.

Trinity win but Thomians show promise

Trinity scored a hard fought 20-13 victory of S. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia, overcoming a late scare at the Pallekele Rugby Stadium after leading 17-6 at the breather.

The ball handling was good from both Trinity as well as S. Thomas’ but Trinity’s territorial game was superb which proved to be a little too much for the Thomians.

S. Thomas’ was at the receiving end due to some poor mistakes made by the referee, especially in the awarding of the first and the second try of Trinity as well as a red card that should have been.

Hence Trinity got the upper hand and capitalized from these mistakes as they came on top of the Thomians and got the much needed victory in the end.

Trinity responded with two tries from their captain Lithmal Moragoda and Kovida Wickramasinghe who also fired across the two conversions as well as the two penalties while for S. Thomas’ their solitary try was scored by their captain Chariya Kurukulasuriya with Yehan Bulathsinhalage adding the extra points to their only try. He also put over two penalties.

Joes the team to beat

With their heavy set of forwards, St. Joseph’s College convincingly beat Kingswood College Kandy 34-03 in their season opener at Havelock Park.

The Joes recorded a big six-try win over their counterparts and at half time they led 19-3.

Their six tries came through skipper Teran Karunanayake, number eight Naveen Marasinghe, full-back Isuru Kanchana, Sachinthana Vidana, nippy half-back Vihanga Randeepa and substitute hooker Shithija Sanjeewa with fly half Dilhara Subash slotting in the two conversions to round off a winning start to the Joes team this season. For the Kingswood outfit their solitary penalty was put over by Ishara.