Schools Rugby Show Stoppers

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The Singer Schools Rugby League is undoubtedly one of the most competitive and followed tournaments in the country. Throughout the years we’ve witnessed some cracking seasons and seen amazing players being produced. Today, we look back at the top try and points scorers from 2014 till the concluded 2018 season.

2014

The top try scorer in 2014 emerged from Bambalapitya as Kevin Dixon torched the touch lines with his pace and skills. He was a great finisher for the Bamba Brigade, scoring 11 tries at the end of 9 games; Dixon was one of the most exciting players to watch in full form.

The following year, in 2015, Dixon Captained St. Peter’s College and also represented the Junior Tuskers in both formats. His final year as an U20 proved to be his best, as the team he led clinched the Asia U20 Sevens Series Championship title. Earlier last year, Dixon switched from Havelocks SC to CR & FC in the Dialog Rugby League 2018/19 and had a fairly decent season in the red jersey.

The 2014 season was one to remember for the Trinity Lions as the Tarinda Ratwatte led team won the Bradby. Ratwatte was a standout player that year who was in the limelight since his inclusion in the first XV for Trinity College. As a result of his pinpoint kicks and calm and composed style of play, he ended up being the highest points scorer with a total of 113 points to his name.

Ratwatte went on to represent the Junior Tuskers, Sri Lanka National team and also CR & FC. Although he switches from first five eighth to the centre position occasionally, Ratwatte is still one of the best fly halves the country has seen in the recent past.

2015

The 2015 League was dominated by the Royalists and their rolling maul, and of course the forwards were leading the top try scorer column. But, one player among the lot stood out, the #8, the man with ball in hand behind every maul, the fortunate receiver, Supun Warnakulasuriya. He managed to pile up 16 tries in 9 games, maintaining an average of a try in every match. However, he missed out on representing the Junior Tuskers that year after being ruled out due to an injury.

Warnakulasuriya currently represents the CR & FC team in the Dialog Club Rugby League as a hooker. He also became ThePapare.com’s Most Popular Club Rugby Player in the 2017/18 club rugby season.

The top points scorer in 2015 was a sevens specialist, a speedster with a lot of accuracy in his kicks as well. It was Reeza Rafaideen, the then Kingswood College Skipper, representing his alma mater for the final year. Playing at the vital #14 wing position and the occasional switch as the full back, Rafaideen managed to accumulate a total of 107 points at the end of the season. He went on to represent the Junior Tuskers as a key player in the outfit as well.

Rafaideen currently represents the CR & FC team as well, although he plays alongside a few star players, the speedster is still in the habit of scoring tries!

2016

Although Isipathana College clinched the title in 2016, it was S. Thomas’ College that surprised the entire rugby fraternity. Naveen Henakankanamage, the Thomian Sevens Skipper, was a revelation from the school by the sea. His exemplary performance played a vital role in S. Thomas’ staying unbeaten till the final. He managed to score 12 tries that year, most of which were match winning. He went onto lead the Sri Lanka Junior Sevens teams and XV’s team and later represented the Sri Lanka Sevens team at the Commonwealth games as well.

Making a statement from the Hill Capital, the Eagles produced an excellent place kicker who stole the spotlight almost instantly. Samuel Maduwantha showed what he’s capable of, after being a match winner for St. Anthony’s College, mainly contributing through his boots. His 50+ meter drop goals against Wesley College and Trinity College are still being spoken of and praised. Maduwantha managed to add 105 points to his total at the end of the league, becoming the highest points scorer that year.

Continuing his good form, the former Athonian joined CH & FC and excelled as a fly half/full-back. He managed to execute a few amazing place kicks in the recently concluded Club Rugby season, earning him a spot in the National pool.

 

2017

Winning the league title and dominating the fields, Royal College mauled their way to victory through an unmovable forward pack led by Hamza Reeza. Leading from upfront Reeza bagged 14 tries at the end of the league, much to the credit of the signature rolling maul. Steering the 8 men towards the whitewash, Reeza had 3 hat-tricks under his belt.

 

Hailing from St. Joseph’s College, the top points scorer title was deservedly won by the utility back Sachith Silva, who made it to the starting line-up only in the 3rd week and earned his spot ever since. His ability to kick, sprint and create opportunities paved the way for him to accumulate a total of 110 points through 12 tries, 16 conversions and 6 penalties. Silva managed to show his colours in the Police Jersey earlier this year in the club season, as he ended up as the team’s highest points scorer.

2018

The 2017 Sri Lanka U18 Sevens Skipper, Gamunu Chethiya, ran riot in his final year wearing the blue and white striped jersey, crashing straight through the defense lines and scoring a total of 12 tries at the end of the season. His 12 tries consisted of 3 hat-tricks which led the Josephians to a second place finish in the league table. His contribution proved worthy when they clinched the Sevens title. After captaining the Junior Tuskers last year, Chethiya was recruited by CR & FC and was an impact player in the latter part of the league for CR.

The top points scorer emerged from St. Peter’s College, after consistently slotting in the penalties and conversions for the Bamba Brigade. The 2016 Sri Lanka U18 Football team captain, Shehan Liyanapathirana set foot in the rugby field and went on to become the highest points scorer in his final year representing his Alma Mater. Liyanapthirana managed to accumulate 77 points at the end of the season with over 50+ points coming from his boots.