Royal college came up with a fantastic overall performance as they outclassed their traditional rivals Trinity College, Kandy by 39 points to 07 in the 1st leg of the 74th Bradby Shield rugby encounter concluded at the Royal sports complex this evening. Royal college collected their points from 6 Tries, 3 Conversions and a penalty while Trinity responded with a solitary try that was converted. The winners led 19 points to nil at the break. The game which was also a league game meant the Royalists remain unbeaten in the league so far and top their group.
Unlike last season where the game at the complex was played under some torrid weather conditions, it was a bright sunny afternoon that welcomed the two teams onto the field together with their packed audience. Trinity kicked off the day’s proceedings attacking the Independence square end.
Both teams tested out their opposition’s defenses early on with Trinity using the full width of the park while Royal resorted to their trademark pick and goes from close range. From the onset the hosts, attacking play looked a tad more structured and effective as they made some telling breaks that gained them valuable yards. The early pressure earned Royal a penalty in the 9th minute but the 3 points never came as Royal’s full back Dulan Gunawardane who has been reliable with the boot this season, couldn’t find the target. Three minutes later, Trinity had an opportunity to draw first blood when they were offered a penalty just outside the 22’ but Trinity’s fly half Akitha Sakalasooriya could not find the accuracy in his kick as well.
It took until the 15th minute of play for the first score was put up and as expected it was the Royalists who scored. The hosts benefitted off a great passage of play where they brought play into the “Red zone” before Sasitha Siyath scored from close range. The easy extra points off the conversion were missed as Gunawardane’s kick was charged down. (RC 05 – TCK 00).
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Trinity had the opportunity of reducing the deficit a couple of minutes later, but fly-half Sakalasooriya’s penalty kick at goal lacked the accuracy yet again. Instead it was Royal who went on to double their lead through their talisman, Janidu Dilshan who brushed aside a few defenders to score by the corner flag. Dulan Gunawardane after missing his first two kicks made a sublime conversion to the joy of the home crowd. (RC 12 – TCK 00)
Glamourous start to the 74th Bradby Shield
At this point of the game the Royalists were in total control in both attack and defense. Warren Weerakoon who surprisingly did not start the game for Trinity made his entry but his introduction made little difference. Royal scored their 3rd try of the game just before the half time break and this time it was through their other prop forward Bimsara Induwara who beat his defender and crashed down under the posts. Dulan Gunawardane made no mistake with the conversion to give his team a commanding 19 points lead at the break.
HALF TIME: ROYAL 19 – TRINITY 00
Trinity made a tactical change at half time throwing in replacement scrum half Amith Kulthunge into the action but it was not the perfect start for Kulathunge or his team as they conceded another try barely 2 minutes into the 2nd half. Kulathunge miscued his clearance kick off the restart that gave the Royalists a lineout inside their 22’. There were no prizes for guessing on what was next, as the Royalists executed their deadly rolling maul to perfection. Deputy skipper Maleesha Madumevan was the beneficiary this time around. The try went unconverted but the Royalists were supremely in control. (RC 24 – TCK 00).
74th Bradby Shield on ThePapare Match Centre. Get Exclusive facts and figures from the game….
With the game drifting away from their grasps, the Kandy lads opted for a different approach to their game, keeping play tight and centered on their forwards. The ploy ate away the clock and despite being energy sapping it did bare dividends as Winger Vishwa Ranaraja managed to score a valuable try in the 49th minute. Skipper Avishka Sheik took over the kicking duties and added the extra points which gave the Trinity faithful a glimmer of hope. (RC 24 – TCK 07).
But even the faintest of hopes that may have lingered in the hearts of the Trinitians were soon put to bed through Royal’s Janidu Dilshan who scored a stunning try weaving his way through the Trinity defense to score mid-left which was also his 2nd of the game. Dulan Gunawardane added the extras and the hosts by now were over the hill and far away. (RC 31 – TCK 07)
Royal Tackle their hearts out!
The ‘Lions’ were clearly being outplayed in every department and despite enjoying more possession than the Royalists, had no room or any innovative thinking to move forward against a solid Royal defense. Things only got worse for the visitors as Royal increased their lead scoring another try in the 67th minute. Himantha Hirushan profited from a neat offload that released him into open space and he finished off the move diving over under the posts. The final pass however looked forward and Referee Dinka Peiris opted to consult the TMO who deemed the try ok to be awarded. Dulan Gunawardane however missed a sitter of a conversion. (RC 36 – TCK 07)
With time almost up, the Royalists were awarded another penalty within kicking range. This time it was Fadhil Adhan who took up the kicking duties and he made no mistake taking the Royal score to 39 points against the solitary converted try of the Trinitians that in the end looked like a mere consolation.
FULL TIME: ROYAL 39 – TRINITY 07
Referee: Dinka Pieris
Thepapare.com Player of the match: Janidu Dilshan (Royal College)
Score Breakdown: Royal (19) 39 – 6T, 3C, 1P
Tries Scored by: Janidu Dilshan (2), Sasitha Siyath, Bimsara Induwara, Maleesha Madumewan, Himantha Hirushan
Conversions: Dulan Gunawardane (3)
Penalties: Fadhil Adhan (1)
Score Breakdown: Trinity (00) 07 – 1T, 1C
Tries Scored by: Vishwa Ranaraja
Conversions: Avishka Sheik