Saad boots Zahira home in controversial fashion

Dialog Schools Rugby Knockouts 2023

Saad the hero as DS booted home by Zahira College!

Saad kicked over a penalty after the hooter to hand Zahira College a surprising 15 (2T, 1C, 1P) – 13 (2T, 1P) win at Havelock Park to begin the Dialog Schools’ Rugby Knockouts 2023. 

Zahira faced a mountain of a task against D. S. Senanayake as the Donz came in with a shuffled run-on XV. 

D. S.  got off the mark courtesy the boot of Umagiliyage, as Janidu Wijeratne failed with his first attempt at goal. (ZC 00-03 DS)

Zahira rode the early storm as errors marred the Donz performance, their line out malfunctioning from the onset. 

The Zahirians pounced on the opportunity, capitalizing on the errors made by the Senanayakians to get their first score of the game. 

Front row Forward Adhil was the beneficiary as he added the finishing touch to a well-orchestrated team effort. Saad added the extras to make it a four-point lead. (ZC 07-03 DS) 

Errors mounted as both teams pushed each other to breaking point: however, progress was halted as neither managed to make any telling breaks. 

Lock forward Peiris of the Donz saw red for kicking out at an opponent, as the Senanayakians were crippled with the loss of the thief influential second rower. 

This prompted change in the Donz line up as Paranamanna entered the fray, moving to Fullback. Umagiliyage slotted into his usual Five-eighth position, moving Manura Peiris to nine. 

The usual D. S. spark clicked as Paranamanna scored after the hooter with his 4th touch of the ball. His score went unconverted as the Donz grabbed the lead going into lemons. 

Halftime: Zahira College 07 (1T 1C) trail DS Senanayake College 08 (1T 1P) 

Both teams reverted to their usual game plan, however neither managed a score twenty minutes into the second. 

DS Center Perera was the man to get his name on the scoresheet, extending the lead for the Donz on the hour mark. Wijeratne reassumed kicking duty, but failed with the extras. (ZC 07-13 DS) 

Zahira sparked through Saad during the dying embers of the game as D. S. were found wanting. 

The Zahira Fullback scored a controversial try with minutes left: however, his failed conversion meant the Donz were leading by a single point. (ZC 12-13 DS) 

Saad received an opportunity to kick Zahira into the lead, but his kick off the tee lacked power, falling short but the DS forward fumbled and dropped the ball forward, handing Zahira a second shot at glory. 

The resulting scrum yielded a penalty after the hooter and Saad grabbed the second chance gratefully, slotting over the 3 points to hand the lads from Maradana a victory. 

This win paved the way to setting up a Semi-final showdown against Isipathana which is to take place in a week. 

Fulltime: Zahira College 15 (2T, 1C, 1P) beat D. S. Senanayake 13 (2T, 1P) at Havelock Park Player of the Match: Saad (ZC Fullback) 

Points breakdown: 

Zahira: Saad 1T 1C 1P, Adhil 1T 

D. S.: Paranamanna 1T, Umagiliyage 1P, Perera 1T