Royal College demolished S Thomas’ to take the Michael Gunaratne trophy and secure a record win with a 50+ score in the Singer Schools Rugby League encounter at Royal Complex this evening.
Coming into the game from opposite corners of the book most of the fans gathered at the Royal Complex expected it to be a one-sided affair.
However, the positive for the Thomians was that this was their best outing in the season with regard to their performance although they had nothing to show for their efforts in the points column.
Date Time League Season Full Time; March 24, 2018: 4:30 pm: Schools Rugby League: 2018: 70′
The game kicked off under humid conditions with no real wind and was deemed perfect conditions for rugby. Royal drew first blood through their hooker Mohommed Ifam in the 5th minute as they put their ever-reliable forwards to good use gaining yards from just inside the opposition’s 22m edging to the whitewash and eventually going over forthe first try of the game. Dulan Gunawardana missed a rather difficult kick from the left corner. (Royal 05-00 S. Thomas)
The game then settled to be one of the most exciting of the season yet. The Thomians were unlucky on several occasions as their handling let them down right in front of the post on a few occasions. They were out with a gameplan of using their well jelled and sturdy forwards from the onset using the pick and drops to good effect but itunfortunately didnt bring points.
On the brink of half time, Royal scored their second try of the game courtesy of the flanker Radeesh Wijerathne which was a carbon copy of the first. Gunawardana missed from the right flank. (Royal 10-00 S. Thomas)
Half Time: Royal 10 (2T) – 00 S. Thomas
Everyone who has been following the Royal Rugby team in the 2018 season was vary of how lethal they were in the second half of the game and yet again they proved the fact with pin-point accuracy as they managed to pile up 45 points in a matter of 35 minutes.
Mohommed Ifam scored his second try of the game from another Royal maul. Dulan Gunawardana who had trouble finding his accuracy in the first half bisected the posts cleanly this time from the corner flag. (Royal 17-00 S. Thomas)
There was a clear change in game-plan from the Royalists as they spread the ball wide to their threequarters and used more of the back-line learning from the mistakes.
Yasis Rashmika received a cut-out pass from his scrum-half cutting open the Thomian defence wide only having to step inside and run a good 60m across the field to score Royal’s bonus point try of the game. Gunawardena made no errors. (Royal 24-00 S. Thomas)
The next try followed a minute later as the other replacement flyhalf Kalindu Nandika was put into space by his captain Sabith Feroz. Nandika running an excellent angle only had to cut back in and sprint to the try line with no Thomian defender to beat. (Royal 31-00 S. Thomas)
It was raining tries for the Royalists as they managed to score two more tries through Sabith Feroz and Himantha Hirushan in quick succession. Feroz exploited a gap in the Thomian defense and ran through it before dummying the fullback to sprint his way all the way to the try line.
Thereafter Hirushan scored right off the kick off picking up the loose ball which the Thomian defense allowed to bounce. Gunawardena found his momentum in the second half and converted both tries to extend the lead. (Royal 45-00 S. Thomas)
Thulaib Hassen smashed in the final nail in the coffin with a converted try in the dying stages allowing the team to equal the record of 52-0 earlier set by Bhanuka Gamage’s 2015 side.
With a penalty awarded in the final minute, skipper Feroze opted for the post with ever reliable Dulan Gunawardena who made certain that the team of 2018 renewed the record for the highest winning aggregate in the Michael Gunaratne Trophy.
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Full Time Score: Royal 55 (8T 6C 1P) – S. Thomas’ 0
ThePapare Player of the Match: Maleesha Madumevan (RC)
Royal College: Sabith Feroz (1T),Thulaib Hassen (1T), Mohommed Ifam (2T), Yasis Rashmika (1T), Himantha Hirushan (1T), Radeesh Wijerathne (1T), Kalindu Chandika (1T), Dulan Gunawardena (6C 1P)
Cautions & Dismissals
Sheshan Rajapakshe (STC) (Red card)
Sajeewa Chaturanga (RC) (Yellow card)
Nikhil De Silva (RC) (Yellow card)