Isipathana finish with a flourish against vacillating Rajans

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Manilka Rubeyru

Isipathana College continued their winning streak with a convincing win against Dharmaraja College in the Singer Schools’ Rugby League 2018, in front of a packed house at the Royal Sports Complex. The final score read 42 (7T 2C 1P) points to 14 (2T 2C) in favour of Isipathana.

Bawantha Udangamuga kick started the game in beautiful weather conditions to start off their first game of the Singer Rugby League 2018 at the Royal College Sports Complex. Isipathana, who had a marginal escape from defeat in the previous week, looked a revitalized side against the Rajans.

The Rajans managed to show some promise in the first few phases of the game by playing and controlling the game in the opposition territory. This did not continue for long though as the Isipathana backs skidded through the Rajans, worked a couple of phases and skipper Manilka Rubeyru scored an unconverted try in the corner. (Isipathana 05 – Dharmaraja 00).  

Isipathana played fast paced rugby by working the ball sideways with their backs, but a few nightmares of the previous week crept in, as they knocked the ball and missed passes which were scoring opportunities. The Rajans on the other hand looked very unsettled and did not have a clear game plan. Isipathana who capitalized on this struck through Ashan Gunasekara who barged through two defenders to score. Sadly, once again Anjula could not add in the extras and the scores were 10 points to nil. (Isipathana 10 – Dharmaraja 00).  

In the 20th minute the ‘Green Machine’ opted to use a different approach as they formed a rolling maul from a close line out. The maul was held back by the Rajans defence but nippy scrum half Kalhara managed to send out the ball allowing the tall forward Janith Serasinghe to cross the white line.

Once again Isipathana failed to add the extras despite using a different kicker (Isipathana 15 – Dharmaraja 00).

A misjudgment by Isipathana caused them to defend a scrum in their own 5-meter line. This opportunity was grabbed with both hands by the Rajans as Manuka Hiyarapitiya charged his way through and scored. Udangamuwa later converted the try to reduce the deficit. (Isipathana 15 – Dharmaraja 07).

The next scoring opportunity for the green machines came through a penalty when the opposition was penalized for an off side offence. Anjula made no mistake to send in the ball through the posts to increase their lead (Isipathana 18 – Dharmaraja 07).

Just before half time, Malintha from Dharmaraja was sent to the sin bin for a late charge. Isipathana used the advantage of the numeric gap when Nadeesha Chaminda crossed over for a try. Once again though, the poor boots of the Isipathana kickers’ failed them once more from adding the extras. (Isipathana 23 – Dharmaraja 07).

Half time Isipathana 23 (4T 1P) – Dharmaraja 07  (1T 1C)

The second half displayed a better array of rugby from the Rajans. Skipper Udangamuwa’s territorial punts kept on frustrating the Isipathanians.  The defence line was also sturdy and Isipathana found it hard to breach.

After maintaining the defensive momentum for almost a quarter of the second half, Isipathana found their way through when skipper Ruberu went over to score his second under the posts. Anjula added the 2 points with ease to increase their lead (Isipathana 30 – Dharmaraja 07).

The worn-out defence of the Rajans could not keep up with the pace of Isipathana as they managed to score twice within a span of 6 minutes through Pium Ediriweera and Nadeem Basik. Anjula converted one of them leaving the score line 42 – 07. (Isipathana 42 – Dharmaraja 07).

In the dyeing stages of the game the Rajans managed to show some intent and worked the ball through their backs allowing skipper Udangamuwa to score a consolation try. He managed to shoot the ball through the post from the corner before the referee blew his long whistle giving the green machines their second victory for the season.

Isiptahana displayed good fast rugby compared to their previous game whereas the Rajans were indecisive and depended a lot on their skipper.

Full Time – Isipathana 42 (7T 2C 1P) defeats Dharmaraja 14 (2T 2C)

ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match – Manilka Rubeyru (IC)

Breakdown:

Isipathana College 42 (23) 7T, 2C , 1P
Tries: Manilka Ruberu (2) Janith Serasinghe (1), Nadeesha Chaminda (1) , Piyum Ediriweera (1), Nadeem Basik (1)
Conversion (2C) and Penalty – Ravindu Anjula 1P

Dharmajara College Kandy 14 (07) 2T,2C 
Tries (1) and Conversions (2): Bawantha Udangamuwa, Try from Manuka Hiyarapitiya

Send offs – Malintha Rajapaksha (DRCK)