A spirited performance from Royal College ensured that the 2019 Singer School’s Rugby league will stay at Reid Avenue for the 3rd consecutive year as St. Joseph’s College went down 24 (4T,2C) points to 17 (2T,2C,1P) in the final game of the league, played at Royal Complex today, 29th June.
Royal came in to this game knowing that they needed a bonus point victory to secure the coveted Singer School’s Rugby league for the 3rd consecutive year or see them hand their title over to St. Peter’s College as Kalindu Nandila kicked started the judgment day encounter.
Royal straight away piled on pressure as they kept on attacking for more than fifteen phases but the Josephians were relentless in tightening their hold on the game, giving their opposition no opportunity to get out of jail. Then Royal moved on to their tried and tested move, “the rolling maul” as Rajindu Jayasooriya, the lanky Hooker found his way to the try line, diving over from the tail of a maul to open up the scoring. Dulan Gunawardena made no mistake from the touch line to make it a perfect 7. (RC 07 – 00 SJC)
Royal attacked, and Joes defended; That was the order of business for the first quarter as Royal patiently inched towards the try line, but Joes defended, excellently. Royal line then took over the operation molded by the Forwards. Quick hands by the back managed send Yasis Rashmika over the line for the second try. Gunawardena continued the usual proceedings with the boot, adding the extras from a tight angle. (RC 14 – 00 SJC)
Joes had to reply fast, and they did so in their first attacking move of the game. The pack moved forward with the pick and drive as Gershorm Thangaiya finally managed to touch down as he grounded the ball to the padding to open the account for the Josephians. Santhush Algama pierced the posts to cut the deficit. (RC14 – 07SJC)
In the dying embers of the first half, the Josephians were awarded a penalty as the Royal defense leaked out an unwanted penalty. Santhush Algama made no mistake from the tee to make it a 4-point game going in to half time.
Half Time – Royal College 14 (2T,2C) – St. Joseph’s College 10 (1T,1C,1P)
Royal kept on pilling pressure, but unwanted handling errors cost them a try scoring opportunity. Then Joes managed to score on the counter attack when Tharindu Maduranaga collected the loose ball and made a superlative kick towards the open space as nippy scrum half Rashen Gunawardena had the presence of mind to collect and round the corner for a try for the Josephians. Santhush Algama made no mistake from the touch line to overtake the Royalists for the first time in the evening by three points. (RC 14 – 17 SJC)
St. Joseph’s faced a brutal setback as their skipper was sinbinned for a shoulder charge and Royal used the numerical advantage to the maximum as the forwards played few phases and quick hands to Achitha Radeeshan was good enough to send him over the line. (RC 19 – 17 SJC)
Royal Struck again, this time it was massive! The league winning try was touched down by Achitha Radeeshan as they scored the Bonus point Simultaneously, the stands of Royal Complex erupted as they started their three-pete celebrations. (RC 24 – 17 SJC)
Royal defended exceptionally the last five minutes, as if their lives depended on it, to secure the famous win and clinched the coveted Singer Schools Rugby league for the 3rd consecutive year.
Full Time – Royal College 24 (4T,2C) – St. Joseph’s College 17 (2T,2C, 1T)
- ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match – Achitha Radeeshan (Royal College)
- Match Referee – Priyantha Gunarathne
Royal College: Tries from Rajindu Jayasooriya, Yasis Rashmika, Achitha Radeeshan (2) & Conversion (2) from Dulan Gunawardena
St. Joseph’s College: Tries from Gershorm Thagaiya, Rashen Gunawardena conversions (2) & Penalty from Santhush Algama
Cautions & Send offs:
St. Joseph’s College: Tharindu De Alwis (Yellow)