Trinity Rugby squad 2015
Royal Rugby squad 2015
By Shamseer Jaleel
Trinity College, led by national youth player Isuru Rangala, and their perennial rugby rivals Royal College, captained this year by Bhanuka Gamage, will battle for supremacy once again in the first leg of the 71st Bradby Shield encounter, which will take place on 9 May at the Trinity College Rugby Stadium in Pallekelle. The game is slated to kick off at 4:30 p.m.
This will be the last encounter of the Singer League Under 20 competition’s first round for both teams. Trinity have held on to the prestigious shield for the last four years, after capturing custody of it with some outstanding leadership from Murad Ramzeen (2011), Kaneel Seneviratne (2012), Halique Wadood (2013) and Tharinda Ratwatte (2014). The onus will now be on Isuru Rangala to continue Trinity’s run. However, the task is a daunting one.
Trinity has recorded six successive wins from 1952-1957, which is an all-time record for the Bradby series. Royal also dominated the fixture for four years from 2001 to 2004.
Trinity is leading the tally with 39 wins to Royal’s 30 with one game ending in a tie in 1992. The Bradby Shield was first up for grabs in 1945 with Royal Principal E.L. Bradby donating the trophy. During this period Trinity was headed by C.E. Simithrarachchi who contributed the Under 18 trophy (then the Under 17 trophy). The first Bradby was won by Trinity who were led by Robert Sourjah.
This year Trinity has won all its Singer League Division I matches, beating Dharmaraja (50-37), St. Anthony’s Katugastota (49-13), S. Thomas’ College (40-15) for the Canon De Seram trophy and clinched their last encounter against Science (22-17).
Royal opened its season against the Katugastota Antonians with a 38-10 win before going on to beat Science College (37-22), Dharmaraja (17-3) and S. Thomas’ College (52-0) to claim the Michael Gunaratne Trophy.
Trinity’s 1978 skipper Janaka Kiridena will be the chief guest at the first leg. Trinity boasts of some outstanding players such as Ryan Weerakoon, Saranga Gunathilake, Rukshan Dhammapala and Sachintha Dissanayake. Trinity’s strength are their swift three-quarters.
The Lions are coached by former Ireland Test player Eric Miller with two of their Old Boys – Thushith De Silva double International Pradeep Basnayake – assisting him.
Royal will depend heavily on their classy number 8 Supun Warnakulasuriya, who they will hope to be outstanding in attack as well as defence. Flanker Keshan Peries and skipper Banuka Gamage are the remaining players who have made an impact for the Reid Avenue school this season.
Royal’s strength is its powerful forwards and its rolling maul which Trinity should be able to overcome if it wants to end on the winning side. The Royalists are coached by former Isipathana and CR&FC player Sanath Martis, who is a master administrator who has previously handled the Sri Lanka Youth team.
One of the country’s leading Level III referees Dinka Peiris will be making his debut in the Brady encounter. He has been officiating school and Division I rugby games in the country for the last 10 years with some overseas assignments in Dubai, Malaysia and Singapore.
Trinity hold the edge in the Under 18 encounter played for the Simithrarachchi Trophy. The Lions are led by Pubudu Fernando with former double International Pradeep Basnayake coaching the outfit.
Trinity College: Isuru Rangala (Capt), Sachintha Dissanayake, Saranga Gunathilake, Nethmal Sakalasooriya, Ryan Weerakoon, Nethan Lee, Direndra Ratwatte, Rahul Karunathilake, Rajith Samarasekera, Thusila Perera, Sanushka Abeywickrema, Shalindra Alahakoon, Ghazali Ismail, Kanchana Wimalasiri, Shaveen Ekanayake, Rishen Madena, Pasan Samarawickrema, Rukshan Dhammapala, Anuka Boyagoda, Dhirendra Ratwatte, Isuru Ratnayake, Dave Dias, Geshan Pethiyagoda, Ayesha Edirisinghe, Naveen Davadason, Sahveen Ekanayake, Rashen Bandaranayake, Rishane Madena, Melan Maliesh, Pasan Samarawickrema, Sanajana Sanagasinghe, Saranga Gunathilake, Shemal Wijewardena, James Peiris, Salindra Alahakoon, Shadi Deane, Lashan Wijesuriya, Pubudu Amunuthuduwa, Keshan Palayangoda, Rajith Samarawickrema, Diluksha Dange and Aveesha Piyankara.
Royal College: Banuka Gamage (Capt), Keshan Peiris, AkashaIddewela, Chandula Jayasundera, Supun Warnakulasuriya, Gayal Jayasinghe, Shawket Lahir, Ashok Vijayakumar, Umesha Madushan, Nikila Gunadheera, Gavesha Yapa, Harith Lokugamage, Ayesha Maduranga, Oven Askey, Shabith Feroze, Andrew de Silva, Sachin Gamage, Vinith Gunawardena, Ayendra Subasinghe, Aerosha Elikewela, Ishfaaq Nazeer, Pasindu Amarasinghe, Tahiru Gunasekera, Mohamed Nabeel, Sasitha Siyath and Bhanuka Ratnayake.