By Shamseer Jaleel
The second round of the Division I Under 20 Singer League will restart after a break of two weeks. The tournament will now see the top eight teams - defending unbeaten school champions Isipathana, unbeaten Royal, S. Thomas’, Trinity, Kingswood, St. Peter’s, St. Joseph’s and Science battling it out for the top spot this year.
From these teams, the two most likely to secure the trophy are Isipathana and Royal. Trinity were previously in this conversation but after they were thrashed in the second leg of the Bradby their championship stock has been severely devalued.
Isipathana are led by national youth player Omalka Gunaratne, who has been playing exceptional rugby. The Havelock Town lads are playing some inspired rugby. Their only perceptible flaw is their kicking at goal which sometimes costs them vital points. Their Head Coach, former Sri Lankan Sevens star Nilufer Ibrahim, should iron out the issue sooner rather than later as their next four games will be vital if they hope to clinch the league.
Trinity on the other hand will need to come up with an extraordinary effort to keep their position within the top three secure. Their fitness level and ball handling need to be worked on. Their scrummage will need to find a solution with a local coach as most of the other schools’ coaching units, such as Royal, Isipathana, St. Joseph’s and Kingswood, are headed by locals.
Wesley, C.W.W. Kannangara, St. Anthony’s and Dharmaraja will battle it out for the Plate after their relegation from the Cup segment due to their poor performances at the top level. After the completion of the second round of the league competition, the Sri Lanka Under 20 team will be formed for the Junior Asiad in September.
Isipathana vs. S. Thomas’ at Mt. Lavinia, Science vs. St Joseph’s at Mt. Lavinia, St. Peter’s vs. Trinity at Bambalapitiya and Royal vs. Kingswood at the Royal Sports Complex
Science College vs. Isipathana at Mt. Lavinia, S. Thomas’ vs. St. Joseph’s at Longdon Place, St. Peter’s vs. Royal at Bambalapitiya and Trinity vs. Kingswood at Pallekele
Trinity vs. Isipathana at Pallekele, Royal vs. St. Joseph’s at the Royal Complex, St. Peter’s vs. S. Thomas’ at Bambalapitiya and Science vs. Kingswood at Mt. Lavinia.
Royal vs. Isipathana at the Royal Complex, Trinity vs. St. Joseph’s at Longdon Place, St. Peter’s vs. Science at Bambalapitiya and S. Thomas’ vs. Kingswood at Havelock Park