Isipathana College kicked off their 2019 Singer Schools Rugby League in style by defeating the lackluster St. Anthony’s Outfit from Katugastota 30 (5T,1C,1P) points to 06 (2P) at Havelock park earlier this evening (02nd March).
Both teams took some time to settle in to the game while Manelka Ruberu had an early opportunity put his team ahead with a three-pointer but was unfortunate, as the kick went astray from the uprights.
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Isipathana continued to dominate the game as the Anthonian Eagles struggled with their set pieces, especially the lineouts, but on the other hand Isipathana executed a pre-planned line out move with a short throw to second rower Sarindu Sihasara and a cheeky pop pass by him opened up space for hooker Nepul Athukorala to draw first blood for the green machines. However, Ruberu failed to add the extras. (IC 05- 00 SACK)
Few phases later, 2018 skipper Manelka Ruberu easily skimmed through the Anthonians’ defense line, drew fullback Thirusha Ekanayake towards him and offloaded the ball to his outside half Chamath Kalhara to score the second try for Pathana. This time, Ruberu managed to bisect the sticks to further increase their lead. (IC 12- 00 SACK)
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St. Anthony’s managed to cut the deficit by half when Thirusha Ekanayake slotted two easy penalties just in front of the sticks before the half time breather was blown as Pathana continued to give away unwanted penalties at the breakdowns.
Half Time – Isipathana College 12 (2T,1C) – St. Anthony’s College 06 (2P)
St Anthony’s had a set back at the early stages of the second half when their playmaker Kavishka Jayasooriya was sinbinned for a dangerous tackle. Not missing a beat, Pathana made the best out of the numerical advantage. Manelka Ruberu managed to send a quick ball to his fellow backs as the winger Nadeesha Chaminda went over to score the third try for Pathana. (IC 17- 06 SACK)
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Game was a stop-start affair as there seemed to be more handling errors and stoppages in play as one would have liked, due to injuries. The setbacks spoiled the fast-paced game but Pathana surprisingly managed to breach the Anthonians defense once again with silky hands and timely offloaded in a vintage Pathana style handoff, allowing their winger Ramitha De Silva to score the bonus point try. Conversion by Ruberu was unsuccessful as the ball hit the right upright while in the build up to this try St. Anthony’s center Prabash Gamaarachchi was yellow carded for late charge. (IC 22- 06 SACK)
While Ruberu hasn’t been at the top of game this evening, he was able to redeem himself from a bad day at the office with his boot by slotting in a stunning 45-meter three pointer, best way he knows how. (IC 25 – 06 SACK)
Skipper Janith Serasinghe put the icing on the cake when the Greens pounced on a loose ball and Serasinghe managed to run around the Anthony’s defenders to score the final try in the last move of the game. Ruberu couldn’t add the extras as Pathana kick started their 2019 league campaign on a winning note. (IC 30 – 06 SACK)
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Full Time – Isipathana College 30 (5T,1C,1P) – St. Anthony’s College 06 (2P)
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match – Ramitha De Silva (Isipathana College)
Match Referee – Praneeth Weranga
Isipathana College: Tries from Nepul Athukorala, Chamath Kalhara, Nadeesha Chaminda, Ramitha De Silva, Janith Serasinghe, conversion & penalty by Manelka Ruberu
St. Anthony’s College: penalties by Thirusha Ekanayake
Cautions & Send offs:
St. Anthony’s College: Kavishka Jayasooriya (Yellow), Prabash Gamaarachchi (Yellow)