Title contenders, St. Joseph’s College are set to meet defending champions, the flawless Royalists in what is expected to be an early season epic, as the two sides lock horns in a bid to keep their respective unbeaten tags alive, along with their title hopes.
When: Friday, 06th April
Where: Havelock Park
Kick-off: 4.15 p.m
Live : 3.30 p.m. Onwards
St. Joseph’s College will be desperate to continue their fairytale run in the 2018 Schools’ Rugby league while the Royalists will no doubt want to add gloss to their 2018 heroics as they aim to retain their Schools’ Rugby League title.
History of the Encounter
The Saints from Maradana will be desperate to turn the tide over their opponents as they have not registered a win in this encounter since 1999.
On the other hand, the lads from Reid Avenue have right ‘Royally’ bossed this encounter between the two schools, only losing two games against the Josephians.
The only other win for the Blue and Whites was in 1991 under the leadership of Ravi Abeywickrama, while a draw came in 2016 under the captaincy of Romesh Priyankara ‘Cheeta’
Royal College got over the line against St. Joseph’s College..
Results from the last 3 years:
2015 – 25-22 RC Won
2016 – 27 all Draw
2017 – 28-22 RC Won
Players to watch out for:
St. Joseph’s College
Three consecutive wins have seen the Josephians get off to the best possible start to the season and they now look like title contenders even though we are just three games into the season.
Gemunu Chethiya is the man the opposition will no doubt mark closely as the former national under 18 sevens skipper has been in scintillating form, scoring for fun, topping the try scoring charts with 7 tries in three games including two hat-tricks. He has been well backed up by the likes of Shan Akila and Dulanjana Piyatissa.
Meanwhile, Keshan Kavinda is a doubtful starter with a slight niggle, however, the return of form for Santhush Algama seems to have come at the correct time as he pulls the strings at fly half.
Two 50+ scores and a convincing win on the opening day, have seen Royal start in a similar position to their opponents, however, this game will no doubt pose a different test to the high flying Reid Avenue lads.
Skipper Sabith Feroz looks to be hitting his straps at the right time, and alongside Janidu Dilshan, the Royal back line looks as potent as their heavy forward pack. Fullback Dulan Gunawardena was on song with his kicks and he will surely need another similar performance in what is expected to be a tight affair.
Picking a winner between the two is the toughest task as both sides look in sublime form, however, if the Josephians seem to have one weakness, it is their forwards pack, giving Royal the slight edge.
Both teams will be looking to get off to a flyer and the team that does so will no doubt manage to hold on as a come from behind win seems highly unlikely for either team. Royal to edge Joes by two points.