A ‘match’ made in heaven some said as Royal College Colombo took on Trinity College Kandy for the Singer Schools’ rugby league title decider game which further heightened the cause for excitement as it also turned out as the 73rd Bradby first leg played at Pallekele this evening.

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After a closely wrestled encounter amidst a packed stadium, Royal emerged victorious against a determined Trinity outfit. The scores at the end of the 80 minutes stood at 22 (3T 2C 1P) points to 17 (3T 1C) with the game of rugby and entertainment being the winner.

Royal college secured the top of the league table and were awarded the Singer Schools league cup for the year 2017. For Trinity it will be the second leg of the Bradby to look forward to.

Trinity opened the scoring through some excellent passing and quick ball out to their right wing Rashen Bandaranayake. The forwards for both the teams at the opening minutes of the game put through some hard yards in and out through the field. The Royal forwards were the more stable set while the Trinity forwards were rather mobile drafting in and breaking tackles to gain the yards. Bandaranayake reaped the rewards for the good work of his forwards. Lashen Wijesuriya missed a rather difficult conversion. (RC 00-05 TCK)

Royal hit back soon after with a reply try through their big number 01 and prop Imantha Hirushan who barged over two defenders to drop over the whitewash. Initially it was the Royal winger Mohommed Ferioz who broke the line and brought Royal over to the oppositions 22m line. After that it was the classical pick and drops until they finally went over. Mohammed Shakir the full back bisected the posts with ease with his conversion. (RC 07-05 TCK)

Shakir was again positioning himself to kick a penalty as Referee Dinka Peries awarded Royal with a 25m under the post penalty to a high tackle by a Trinity defender. Shakir made it look easy as he extended the lead by another 3 points. (RC 10-05 TCK)

Trinity had a golden opportunity when Warren Weerakoon broke the line and handed his counterpart meters away from the try line but the big prop forward juggled the ball eventually spilling it which led the events of the first half come to an end.

Half Time : Royal 10 (1T 1C 1P) – 05 (1T) Trinity

The second half started off with a bang as Lashen Wijesuirya went over the try line and added the extras of his own try to give Trinity the lead again setting off the massive support in the stands. The forwards brought the ball up ever so close to the try line before they spun it wide out to their backline which ultimately ended in the hands of Wijesuriya. (RC 10-12 TCK)

Up until about the 60th minute it was Trinity who had the upper hand in the game, they threatened the defense of the Royal constantly through both the forwards and the backs but there was no success to show for it.

Royal, the masters of turning things around went to their signature rolling maul eventually making it count. The highest try scorer in the league Hamza Reeza went over the line to score his 14th of the season. Both tries were a carbon copy of each other but kept in two different ends in the field. The line out ball cleanly collected and handed over to the forwards who set the maul grinding and crossing over to touch down.  Shakir could only slot through one. (RC 22-12 TCK)

Trinity scored the final try of the evening through their center Warren Weerakoon who barged his way over the line beating a couple of defenders. Anuka Boyagoda, the little scrum half took a quick tap for a penalty received and handed Warren to do the rest which he did with ease. Wijesuriya missed the conversion by the slightest of margins. (RC 22-17 TCK)

Trinity like they did in the first half failed to convert some good possession into points in the dying minutes of the half as Referee Dinka Peries eventually blew the long whistle to bring the game to an end.

An amazing schools rugby season came to an end with Royal clinching the all-important title for the year 2017 only being defeated by Isipathana this season. Reid avenue lads clearly presented a well-rehearsed unit enforced with a fighting spirit and good direction from coaches to leave behind the rest.

Full Time : Royal 22 (3T 2C 1P) – 17 (3T 1C) Trinity

ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Thulaib Hassen (Royal)

Score Breakdown

Royal : Ashen Fernando (2T), Hamza Reeza (1T), Mohommed Shakir (2C 1P)

Trinity : Rashen Bandaranayake (1T), Warren Weerakoon (1T), Lashen Wijesuriya (1T 1C)