Green Machines’ and Lions’ Historic Rivalry Renewed this Saturday at Havelock Park after 5 years

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024 Isipathana vs Trinity

The highly anticipated 39th rugby encounter between Isipathana College and Trinity College is set to take place on the 13th of July at Havelock Park.

This historic rivalry dates back to their first match in 1966, where Trinity, captained by Glen Vanlanberg, defeated Isipathana, led by Sunil Wickramasuriya, with a score of 26 to 3 at Bogambara. Athula Wickremasinghe scored the sole try for Isipathana in that inaugural game.

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The annual fixture was not continued after the initial encounter. However, in 1978, Isipathana seized the opportunity to play against Trinity in the “Centenary Trophy” semi-finals, organized by the Sri Lanka Rugby Board to celebrate 100 years of rugby in Sri Lanka. Captained by M.P.F. Sallay (Late), Isipathana triumphed over the Trinity Lions with a score of 21 (03 goals, 01 penalty) to 06 (02 penalties) at Longdon Place, marking a historic victory after 12 long years.

The annual Isipathana-Trinity fixture officially began in 1981, with Trinity, led by Ravi Bandaranayake, securing a 9 to 6 victory. The following year, Isipathana, under the leadership of Dilroy Fernando, recorded their first league victory against Trinity with a score of 7 to 3. In 2002, Isipathana achieved the highest score in the series, defeating Trinity 43 to 8. Over the years, Isipathana has emerged victorious 19 times, while Trinity has won 15 matches. Four encounters, in 1990, 1992, 1993, and 2018, ended in a draw. Notably, the match was not played in 1991, 2000, 2020, 2022, and 2023.

Lions last won in 2017 under the captaincy of Nathan Yee with a score of 15 to 10 at Pallekele. Green Machine won the last match played in 2019 under the captaincy of Janith Serasinghe with a score of 27 to 15, also at Pallekele.

This year, Isipathana College will be led by the dynamic No. 8, Nisaja Jayaweera, with Shaahid Zumri serving as his deputy and playmaker for the Green Machine. The team, coached by Saliya Kumara and Danushka Boteju, remains unbeaten this season, having secured victories against Sri Sumangala, Science, and Dharmaraja College.

Trinity College will be captained by the elegant center Anuhas Kodituwakku, with deputies Thisanga Dissanayake and Ravin Illangaratne. Trinity’s team, coached by Farzil Marija and Viraj Prasanna, has had a mixed season, with wins against S. Thomas’ and Sri Sumangala, and a narrow loss to DS.

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The Chief Guest for the match will be 1973 Isipathana College Rugby Captain, Rtd. Group Captain Nalin de Silva, with former 1st XV Rugby player and college rugby coach, Kelum Gunaratne, serving as the Guest of Honor. Special guest Yusri Abdulla, Managing Director of Montrella Consultants, will also be in attendance. Montrella is proudly sponsoring both Isipathana and Trinity College this season.

The encounter is generously sponsored by the Isipathana College Group of 96 old boys for the successful 12th year. Both teams last faced each other in 2019 and will be renewing their rivalry after a five-year hiatus.