Adding to the already heightened March Madness, the Singer A division schools rugby league will kick-off on the 18th March between St. Joseph v S. Thomas’College at CR&FC grounds and Trinity v Wesley College at Pallekele on the same day.

The league

Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Association (SLSRFA) brought up the new format two years ago which allows the lower divison team to compete with top rugby playing schools. Thirty six schools will be playing in the division one under 6 segments. Below are the groups.

Segment -1A  

  1. Royal College Colombo
  2. Trinity College Kandy
  3. Joseph’s College Colombo
  4. Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia
  5. Wesley College Colombo
  6. D.S. Senanayake College

Segment -2A  

  1. Prince of Wales College Moratuwa
  2. Thurstan College Colombo
  3. Piliyandala MMV Piliyandala
  4. Vidyartha College Kandy
  5. Benedict’s College Colombo
  6. Mahanama College Colombo

Segment  – 1C  

  1. Sylvester’s College Kandy
  2. Maliyadeva College Kurunegala
  3. Richmond College Galle
  4. Ehiliyagoda MMV Ehiliyagoda
  5. Carey College Colombo
  6. Thomas’ College Matale

Segment -1B

  1. Isipathana College Colombo
  2. Science College Mt. Lavinia
  3. St. Peter’s College Colombo
  4. Kingswood College Kandy
  5. St. Anthony’s College Kandy
  6. Dharmaraja College

Segment – 2B   

  1. Zahira College Colombo.
  2. C.W.W. Kannangara MV Colombo
  3. Ananda College Colombo
  4. Lalith Athulathmudali College Mt. Lavinia
  5. St. John’s College Nugegoda
  6. Royal College Panadura

Segment – 2C

  1. Lumbini College Colombo
  2. Nalanda College Colombo
  3. Nugawela MMV Werellegama
  4. Moratu Vidyalaya Moratuwa
  5. Veluwana Vidyalaya Colombo
  6. Bandaranayake MV Gampaha
Division – 2

Segment -1A

  1. St. Anne’s College Kurunegala
  2. Devapathiraja College Galle
  3. Vidyaloka MV Galle
  4. Thalduwa Buddhist MV Thalduwa
  5. Sri Sumangala MMV Kandy
  6. Vidura College Nawla Rajagiriya

Segment – 2A

  1. Wayamba Royal College Kurunegala
  2. Kegalu Vidayalaya Kegalle
  3. Zahira MV Mawanella
  4. Sri Sumangala MMV Panadura
  5. Rahula College Matara
  6. Aloysiu’s College Galle

Segment – 1B

  1. Dharmapala MV Pannipitiya
  2. Mahinda College Galle
  3. soka Vidyalaya Colombo
  4. Sri Rahula Vidyalaya Katugasthota
  5. President’s College Maharagama
  6. Siri Piyarathana MMV Padukka

Segment – 2B

  1. Rewata Vidyalaya Balapitiya
  2. St.Servetus’ College Matara
  3. Upananda College Galle
  4. Rahula College Matara
  5. Ginthota Vidyalaya
Division – 3

Segment – 3A

  1. De.S.Jayasinghe MMV Dehiwala
  2. Sebastian’s College Kandana
  3. Anthony’s College Wattala
  4. Sri Rajasinghe MMV Hanwella
  5. Sir John’s Kotalawala MV Kurunegala
  6. Hindu College Colombo.04

Segment – 3B

  1. Kalutara Vidyalaya Kalutra
  2. St. Peter’s College Udugampola
  3. Kottawa Ananda MV Kottawa
  4. S. Thomas’ Prep School Colombo.03
  5. Lakadasa De Mel Mv Kurunegala

Each team will play five matches along with the other teams in their group. The top four team will play crisscross against the other group for the cup title between the segment 1A & 1B. The bottom two teams of segment 1A & 1B will play for the plate championship along with the top two teams of segment 2A & 2B.

The teams that finish 2-6 in the segment 2A & 2B will play crisscross for the bowl title while top four in the segment 1C & 2C will play for the shield. The bottom two teams of 1C & 2C will have the relegation battle against division 2 schools.

CWW Kannangara which was promoted to play in the top category for the first time in history last year, could not match up to the challenge as they lost all their games. D.S. Senanayake College also had a similar journey when they played in the top division in 2014. After finishing in the top four in the plate competition last year (2015) they will have a big task in the promotional affair as they kick off this season with the champions Royal College on the 20th Sunday.

A recap of the 2015 cup final

Royal College were crowned last year under their ever-smiling captain Banuka Gamage with the coaching maestro Sanath Martis guiding the team. Most importantly Royal placed the icing on the cake with a brilliant second leg routing in the traditional Bradby fixturevs Trinity.

Schools rugbyThe league final was set out as a thriller last year where Isipathana tried to defend the title under the monsterous no8 Omalka Gunarathne and their coach Nilfer Ibrahim, but it was all Royal as they won 21 – 08 at their Sports Complex.

This year too this highly competitive schools’ league is sure to dish out some red-hot rugby; chants, cheers, colour and controversy mixing with blood, sweat and tears to deliver an unequivocal passage of scrumptious rugby. Ever since S. Thomas’won the schools sevens title after 22 years this January, the quest for the title has been thrown wide open.

Twists and Turns

Science College clinched their first ever major title winning the President Trophy beating Isipathana College by 21 – 18 in the final. Although Isipathana produced a 45 – 20 win during the league against Science, the school from Mt.Lavinia showcased a lot of courage and desire to win a final last year. Science appointed Collin Denish as their consultant coach from St. Peters but Collin has made areturn to his Alma-mater quite surprisingly. The Science college physio and the trainer Ransilu Jayathilake too moved to St. Peters for this season. Science has beaten St. Peters continuously in the recent past and this year it will be interesting to watch some grudge-battles between the two schools.

Thomas’, Royal, St. Peters, Trinity and Science has a very high percentage of players who played last year. On the other hand the other schools in the segment 1A and 1B do not have that luxury this season but certainly they would have nurtured the players during the pre and off seasons.

Both Kingswood and Dharmaraja College played some excellent sevens rugby and their talent in the XV format could not be under-estimated. Wesley, St. Anthony’s and D.S. Senanayake College have a lot to do this season although Wesley won the plate championship last two years in a row, they will be hoping to play in the cup segment at the end of round one.

For the fixtures click here – stay tuned for the previews