Royal College take on St. Joseph’s College in a game that could either win them the conveted Schools Rugby League title for a third year running or see them hand their title to rivals St. Peter’s College.
Nothing but a bonus point win will be enough for the home team while the Josephians come in for a dead rubber encounter for the lads from Maradana, following one-point and two-point defeats in consecutive weeks.
Where: Royal College Sports Complex
St. Joseph’s College have failed to record a win against their nemesis Royal College, falling prey time and time again. The most recent encounter, dating back to 2018 saw the Jospehians fall short by 5 points. The lads from Reid Avenue pipped their counterparts in both 2017 and 2018 to the title and are in prime position to do so this time around as well.
Royal College come in with consecutive wins under their belt while the Josephians come with defeats — which ended their title hopes — in successive weeks.
Pressure got to the Blue and Whites with the finish line in sight, as they fell short against both Wesley and St. Peter’s in consecutive weeks.
Royal, on the other hand, won the all-important Bradby shield — even though they failed in the second leg at home — and went on to defeat Isipathana with a splendid comeback, to take the title decider into the last week.
Captain Thulaib Hassan has been pivotal for the defending champions, being the glue in Centre field in defense and the penetrator in attack.
Halfback Nipuna Yasojana has been pulling the strings at 9, winning the Player of the Match award in consecutive weeks and he will be one to watch out for in the final week of the Schools’ Rugby League.
Fourth-year player, playing as a lock forward, Fadhil Adhan has been the heart driving the Royal forwards around throughout the season.
St. Joseph’s College
Rashane Gunawardena and Santhush Algama have died out as the season progressed but the two most senior lads will have to put their hands up if the Josphians are to have any chance against the defending champions.
Tharindu Maduranga did not have the best game last weekend, conceding the decisive penalty against the Josephian’s arch rivals, he would however, be seeking to put the past behind him and bounce back as he wears the Blue and White Jersey for one final time.
Making too many changes could very well disrupt the momentum, but with the league title at stake and a bonus point a must, Royal College will aim to run the Josephians ragged. They will be forced into spreading the ball wide, but striking the correct mix of forwards and back will be vital if they are to clinch the prize at stake.
With nothing to lose, the visitors will surely play the rugby they are known for. The Josephian defense will be tested, however, their running game needs to come good if they are to take anything away from the complex.
The hosts come in as favorites and a win will no doubt be on the cards. The visitors will have to put on a show, if they are to deprive the Royalists of the title.