Longdon Place came alive with some enthralling rugby with the two teams going hard at each other as Wesley College took on the mighty Royals nearly holding them to a famous win with a half-time lead to Wesley 17-15.
Full Time Score: Royal 18 – Wesley 17
A fighting Wesley outfit lined up against a favoured Royal side relentlessly not lifting that front foot. When the big lads from Reid Avenue tried “shooeing” them off, they just cocked their ears and snarled back! The Wesley underdog was fierce.
With Wesley kicking things off play remained nil-all with both teams challenging each other’s territory. Royal threw anything and everything at Wesley with their scrums, mauls and pick-and-drives only to end in dismay when Wesley denied them points with hole-less defense for a wholesome Royal.
However, Wesley was soon taught a lesson when a penalty was awarded to Royal with which Goonewardena did not think twice to boot it in to give his team a 3-point lead. (Royal 03- Wesley 00)
Just after, a penalty came Wesley’s way with which they shot back, fullback Murshid Zubair making no mistake. (Royal 03- Wesley 03)
The enraged Royal outfit showed what it really takes to be on the top when they came out with their famous maul and gained yards before an error was forced off Wesley. The resulting penalty was used with a quick tap coming in from the quick scrum half and Sasitha Siyath carried it to touch down. Dulan Goonewardena booted in the conversion. (Royal 10- Wesley 03)
However, Wesley came back through winger Paranitharan who dashed his way along the touchline to score near the post. The patient line working phases brought Wesley there. The agenda was “No forwards’ hits. Just line.” (Royal 10-Wesley 10)
Next scoring came through a phase where a beautiful Wesley break, through Zubair and Kavindana Perera scored. The gap was spotted well by Walpitage the fly-half. The conversion came through with no mistake. (Royal 10- Wesley 17)
Royal with a deserving fight put up a show with Himantha Hirushan running his usual power, bursting holes through the defense and crossing the line for 5 more points. However this was not converted by Goonewardena. (Royal 15- Wesley 17)
All in all when at lemons the momentum was stolen by Wesley when they went into halftime with a 2 point lead over the favoured Royalists.
Right after halftime, Royal respected Wesley defense with taking a kick at goal penalty which was booted by Goonewardena. (Royal 18-Wesley 17)
With this started the phase of the crowds when they grew boisterous and a brilliant game of rugby was halted by referee Dinka Peiris and it remained so for quite some time after which the referees agreed to continue the match.
However, very little game time was left and Wesley gallantly fought tooth and nail with phases that almost resulted in scoring but failed before the long whistle was blown and Wesley had to be content with a mere ‘taming of the shrew’ while Royal breathed a sigh of relief.
Full Time Score: Royal 18 ( 2T,2P, 1C) defeat Wesley 17 (2T,1P, 2C)
- ThePapare Player of the match: Mursheed Zubair
Royal: Tries from Sasitha Siyath, Himantha Hirushan. Penalties (2) and conversion(1) by Goonewardena
Wesley: Tries from Paranitharan and Kavindana Perera. Penalty(1) and conversions (2) by Mursheed Zubair