Competitive week marred by ugly end; Decisive games loom in Week 05

Dialog School’s Rugby League 2023

A competitive week littered by an ugly end; Decisive games loom in Week 05

Week four of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023 saw Isipathana College reaffirm their status as favorites to clinch the title with their fourth back-to-back bonus point win while Royal College and St Peter’s College kept their chances alive winning their fixtures.

However, all the action dished out during week 04 of the league took a back seat when St. Joseph’s College Head Coach, Nilfer Ibrahim was assaulted at Pallekele after their fixture against Kingswood College. St. Joseph’s College picked up a morale-boosting win against Kingswood College, who are yet to win a single game this season. Ibrahim, an old Kingswoodian himself, was admitted to hospital and was subsequently released with minor injuries to his knee and ankle, and the alleged perpetrators have been arrested after a complaint was filed by Ibrahim.

The ‘Donz’ looking to bounce back against struggling Kingswood on the 14th at Havelock Park

Newcomers D.S Senanayake College suffered their first loss of the season at the hands of the roaring ‘Green Machine’ but they would have taken a lot of heart from their performance against the most dominant team in the league.

Throughout the second half, the ‘Donz’ caused nervy moments for the host team and their supporters, reestablishing that they belong right here in the big league. Despite the defeat, D.S Senanayake is still in with a chance to qualify for the Super Round and will be hoping to spring back with a bonus point win against the bottom dwellers Kingswood College who will be visitors at Havelock Park.

>>Photos – D.S Senanayake College vs Isipathana College – Dialog Schools Rugby League – 2023

Watch the action live on Dialog TV Channel 126, ThePapare and VIU

Lady Jayathilaka Shield is on offer at Mount Lavinia on the 15th

Thomians who are returning to action from their rest week will host the lads from Darley Road in a crucial game for both teams. A historic encounter that dates back to 1955 turned into a game played for a shield in 1965 when Old Josephian Lucian Jayathilaka donated the shield in memory of his mother Lady Jayathilaka.

This year the game will have added importance as both teams will not be satisfied with just winning the coveted shield but will aim for a bonus point win which will be crucial for them to remain in the hunt for a spot in the Super Round.

After week 4 both teams are dead-locked with 11 points with the Thomians having the advantage of a game in hand having played only 3 games. Thomains will be looking to exploit the home advantage at the Big Club grounds neighboring Mount Lavinia beach while the Joes will hope that the momentum of their morale-boosting win on the road against Kingswood College will provide the much-needed impetus to finish strong in the remaining two games.

>>Photos – Kingswood College vs St. Joseph’s College- Dialog Schools Rugby League – 2023

Watch the action live on Dialog TV Channel 119, ThePapare and VIU

Will Soori’s Eagles possess the formula to beat Isipathana at Longdon place on the 15th of July?

The Defending Champions are on the march towards back-to-back league titles and have already amassed 4 bonus point wins to distance themself from the rest of the competition. Isipathana has dished out eye catching, fast-paced, open rugby they have always been known for, and have unleashed a backline that looks lethal every time they touch the ball. They will approach this game with the same intensity and will want to record a strong win to continue their momentum.

The Antonians kicked off the season with a jubilant win against the Josephians but were dealt a blow the very next week by newcomers D.S Senanayake College. They managed to bounce back with a hard-fought win by a solitary point against Wesley College last week and will be determined to get a win against the ‘Green Machine’ at Longdon Place. Head coach of the Antonian side, Srinath Sooriyabandara, former Isipathana Skipper himself will be a key man in the encounter. Antonians have a skilful territorial and point kicker in skipper Sahan Keerthisiri but will have to ponder whether they want to take a chance on the hard-running Isipathana backs making counter-attacking runs at them with their back line being littered with plenty of game breakers. Antonians will have to front up in defense and need to focus on winning and putting pressure in the contact area which would deny free-flowing front football to Isipathana.

>>Photos – Wesley College vs St. Anthony’s College – Dialog Schools Rugby League – 2023

Watch the action live on Dialog TV Channel 126, ThePapare and VIU

Trinity is desperate for a win before Bradby against Science on 15th July at Pallekele

Having already lost two games, Trinity College will be desperate to get some momentum with a win against Science College at Pallekele which would do a world of good to their confidence before the all-important Bradby First Leg which will be played at the same venue. Trinity College fronted up to a high-riding Peterite outfit last week in a performance that showcased their ability to tactically size up their opponents.  Despite going down to St. Peter’s, Trinity will have taken the positives from the game and will be looking to rectify the mistakes which handed them their second defeat of the season.

Searching for their first win of the season, Science College will be no pushovers at Pallekele where they have enjoyed happy memories of taming the Lions at their den. Having conceded 71 points in the concluded three games they will have to work hard in defense to put Trinitians under pressure so their hard running backs can run the ball at will.

>>Photos – Trinity College vs St. Peter’s College – Dialog Schools Rugby League – 2023

Watch the action live on  ThePapare

Royal host Rajans on the 15th at Royal Complex

For the third straight week, Royal College will be at home at the Complex and will host the bruised Dharmaraja College from the hill capital. Dharmaraja had a dream start to their season recording their first win against Trinity but since have lost three games back-to-back and are desperate for consistency from their players.

Royal College after a narrow loss against St. Peter’s College in the opening game have bounced back with thumping wins against Science, Vidyartha and Zahira. They are in a strong position to qualify for the super round and will want to continue the winning momentum while brushing up a few aspects of the game before the all-important Bradby Shield first leg.

>>Photos – Vidyartha College v Dharmaraja College | Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023

Watch the action live on  ThePapare

Zahira hosts lads from Bambalapitiya on the 15th of July after their first defeat of the season

St. Peter’s College will travel to Maradana, Colombo having secured an important win on the road against Trinity and will want to keep a clean slate with a win against the hosts, Zahirians. Peterites have showcased that they have able backs that are up to the task in both defense and attack but will want to stamp their authority in the forwards where they will face a stiff challenge from the big Zahirian forwards.

The honeymoon period of the newcomers, Zahira College ended after two and a half games as they conceded 41 unanswered points against Royal College in the second half of the game having held them to 3 points all in the first half. Zahirians will be hoping the confidence that the team gathered in the first two wins will be used to overcome the disappointment at Royal Complex as they face the stern test of the well-oiled Peterite machine.

>>Photos – Royal College v Zahira College | Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023

Watch the action live on ThePapare

Points table at the end of Week 04