Asiri Senavirathne kicked started the game with the wind in his favour, giving Kingswood College an early advantage.
The Kings showed immediate sense of urgency right from the start, swinging the ball out wide, taking hit after hit and eventually dominating the first ten minutes of the game. The defending champions seemed rather uncharacteristically mistake-prone – as they leaked penalties and made unforced errors which led Kingswood to opening the scoring in the 5th minute. Dhananjaya Gunathilake converted a penalty to points, drawing first blood for the Kings. (RC 0-3 KCK)
The Kingswood pack managed to stop the trademark Royal maul on several occasions, trying to create momentum but the defending champs’ counter attack inside the opposition ’22 was unstoppable, as Sasitha Siyath touched down in the near corner for Royal in the 18th minute, scoring the season’s first try. Dulan Gunawardana slotted in through the posts with a beautiful conversion. (RC 7-3 KCK)
Match Centre for the Royal v Kingswood game of the Schools Rugby League. Get LIVE statistics, scores and player information…
Both teams tried hard to penetrate the defensive gaps and extend their scores before the half time break, but failing to hold onto possession cost both, Royal and Kingswood, as the first half of the game came to a close.
Half Time: Royal College 07 – 03 Kingswood College
With the second half underway, Royal looked a whole different side. The boys in blue and gold amended their first-half mistakes and began to find their usual rhythm. As a result of their composed and controlled display, tries were scored in quick succession.
Janidu Dilshan made a powerful run over the white-wash in the 37th minute, after pouncing on a loose ball that came off a Kingswoodian defender. Extending their lead by another two points, Gunawardana was spot on with his kick.
The next 15 minutes of the game saw the Kings’ efforts of trying to breach the opposition defense going in vain; it only drained all their energy and allowed Royal to take the upper-hand as they failed to execute.
Capitalising on their opportunities, Risith Fernando, Nikhil De Silva and Pasindu Fernando went onto score in the 50th,66th and 70th minutes sealing the win for Royal. It was a lacklustre performance by the Kingswoodians in the final quarter of the game after an enthralling first half show.
Kingswood will need to toughen up both mentally and physically as the league will only keep getting harder. As for Royal, they look to be in good form and with a few skill improvements they could look at back-to-back title wins.
Full Time: Royal College (5T, 2C) – 03 (1P) Kingswood College
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Risith Fernando (RC)
Points Breakdown – RC
Tries : Sasitha Siyath,Janidu Dilshan,Nikhil De Silva,Risith Fernando,Pasindu Fernando
Conversions: Dulan Gunawardana (2)
Points Breakdown – KCK
Penalties : Dhananjaya Gunathilake (1)
A Royal gesture. Defending champions show that there is another way to play schools rugby. No celebrations but were quick to run and congratulate the Kingswood side. Wonderful gesture @royalcollegelk @ThePapareSports #lka @SriLankaRugby_ pic.twitter.com/S1yIPOXji2
— Inshaf Caffoor (@inshafcaffoor) March 4, 2018