Isipathana College has made five straight wins to end the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022 group stage phase, seeing off a dogged Vidyartha outfit for a 25-23 win at Nittawela Rugby Stadium on Friday.
The visitors came out breathing fire and steadied well when Vidyartha finally brought the challenge. Isipathana scored a penalty right in front of the posts for a high tackle early doors. M. Botheju did the finishing touches. (Isipathana 3-0 Vidyartha)
Vidyartha, however, replied immediately with a try through S. Premarathne. The hooker broke away from a well-set rolling maul to dive over the whitewash. Menuka Thilakarathne added the extras. (Isipathana 3-7 Vidyartha)
Vidyartha extended the lead via two penalties for holding on. Menuka Thilakarathne got well-deserved pats on back for being on target. (Isipathana 03-13 Vidyartha)
Isipathana got a lucky penalty on the left-hand corner afterwards, which was converted by M. Botheju. (Isipathana 06-13 Vidyartha)
Lovely work from S. Wewalapanditha then sent skipper Dahan Wickramaarachchi under the posts after about 12 phases of pick and drops. M.Botheju added the extras to tie it all up at 13-all. (Isipathana 13-13 Vidyartha)
Vidyartha got another penalty on the brink of the half time whistle. A high-tackle was the offence as they took the lead into half time. (Isipathana 13-16 Vidyartha)
Half Time – Isipathana 13 (1T 1C 2P) – 16 (1T 1C 3P) Vidyartha
Vidyartha managed to score the first try of the second half through the replacement prop B. Dharmasiri, who picked and dropped over the line after about 7 phases. The conversion from Menuka Thilakarathne was on point as well. (Isipathana 13-23 Vidyartha)
From then onwards, it was all Isipathana. Vidyartha got a red card offence and a yellow card offence to reduce themselves to 13 men at one point. N. Kavishka, who acted as the fly-half, cut back into a beautiful running angle as he pumped his way over the line. He added the extras himself. (Isipathana 20-23 Vidyartha)
The NDB Man of the Match, S.Wewalapanditha, then got the opportunity to dot a try over the whitewash courtesy of some lovely handling from the backs. (Isipathana 25-23 Vidyartha)
Both teams tried to get the upperhand in the dying few minutes, but handling and poor recognition of play dampened Vidyartha’s hopes of a win.
NDB Player of the Match – S.Wewalapanditha
Full Time – Isipathana 25 (3T 2C 2P) – Vidyartha 23 (2T 2C 3P)