Isipathana and Royal remain unbeaten

Tuesday, 2 June 2015 00:06 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Shamseer Jaleel

Both defending Singer League champions Isipathana and Royal College continued their unbeaten run at this year’s Singer League Under 20 rugby tournament.

St. Joseph’s College, Trinity College, Kingswood College and S. Thomas’ College suffered defeats. The Peterites scored a superb late second half rally to beat the Trinitians, who will need some motivation ahead of their next game. Tournament dark horses Science College edged out the much-fancied Joes outfit.

Royal continued from where they left off after their Bradby Shield triumph a week ago when their forwards overran the Randles Hill lads 49-7 at the Royal Sports Complex. Once again their Number 8 Supun Warunakulasuriya and Winger Shabith Feroze were outstanding in attack as well as defence. Sanath Martis, one of the most senior coaches in the country, is having an extremely successful stint with the Reid Avenue school.

Science College made a comeback in the second half of their game to score a 29-26 win over the Joes. Trinity, smarting after their defeat to Royal, played well within the initial half of the game but lacked the fitness to last the full 80 minutes of play.

After leading 20-10 at halftime, two of St. Peter’s players were yellow carded. However, the Lions still could not benefit from the two-man advantage. Peterite Skipper Kevin Dixon was outstanding for the Bambalapitiya school.


Trinity College need to get their basics sorted sooner rather than later since they are not short of talent. Last year the Trinity Under 18 side remained unbeaten and more than 10 players representing that unit made it into the senior team this year. The rugby authorities at Trinity need to look at the coaching staff and make the necessary changes in order save some of the valuable money sponsors have spent on the boys. If no immediate action is taken they are going to spoil next year’s team as well.

The fourth match last weekend saw defending Singer League champs Isipathana, led by national youth player Omalka Gunaratne, outclassing the Thomians 61-15 in a one-sided affair. Isipathana at last were perfect with their try and penalty conversions. Their head coach Nilfer Ibrahim, who has done a remarkable job, is tipped to be appointed the Navy Head Coach this year.

The Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association (SSRFA) needs to get gate pricing and the scheduling of games in order. Entrance to some school encounters are priced at Rs. 1,000 and last Saturday saw all four games being played on the same day.

Spectators are being divided and are missing out on opportunities to witness some good and tight games which are being handled by substandard referees, which is another worry which could hamper the tournament which has been organised very well so far.