Trinity College managed to secure a convincing win over Zahira at Pallekele earlier today. After leading 24 points to 3 at half-time, Trinity went onto win the game 34 – 15.
It was a gloomy evening as Akitha Sakalasooriya kick started the game straight into the hands of the Zahirian Skipper, Muammar Deen. Then on, the Trinitians put Zahira under tremendous pressure which forced the visitors to commit errors. Five minutes into the game, Trinity opened the scoring. After setting up a nice maul, Praveenda Wijethilaka bumped off a couple of defenders and went over the line. Sakalasooriya failed to add the extras. (TCK 05 – 00 ZC)
Zahira looked to build momentum from the restart as they kept playing inside the Trinity 22 for a good ten minutes. It paid off when Minhaj Samsudeen converted a penalty to three points and opened the scoring for Zahira. It was a stop-start affair for the rest of the ten minutes as both teams leaked penalties and dropped balls.
Top Try and Point Scorers of the Schools Rugby League 2018…
Zahira dropped down to fourteen men when Centre, Sharik Usuf, was sin-binned for a high tackle. That’s when the home team struck the visitors with three back-to-back tries just before half-time. Front-rower Praveenda Wijethilaka scored his second in similar fashion to his first, barging forward after taking a quick tap. Two minutes later, Reshan Bandaranayake, the full-back, scored in the near corner after the Zahirian back-line defence was caught napping. The bonus point try came in the next minute, when Warren Weerakoon smothered the Zahirian wingers kick, chased it down and made one final pass to his Skipper, Avishka Shiek, who touched down for Trinity. Sakalasooriya managed to convert two of the three tries, which put Trinity in the drivers seat going into half-time.
Half-time: TCK led 24 – 03 ZC
The second-half got underway as Zahira displayed signs of urgency and confidence. But they still failed to score the five pointers. Fifteen minutes into the second-half Zahira got what they were looking for! Skipper, Muammar Deen, went over the whitewash after setting up a driving maul and hitting the right gap that put him through. Samsudeen failed to add the extras. Although it seemed like Zahira got back in the game – they didn’t. Three minutes later, Vishwa Ranaraja scored after taking a quick penalty inside Zahiras 5 meter line which extended their lead. Once again, Sakalasooriya’s kick drifted away from the uprights. (TCK 29 – 08 ZC)
As the game slowly neared its end, Trinity inched closer towards another victory. But attempting to deny it was the gallant Zahirians who scored again ten minutes before the full time whistle. After collecting the ball in their own half, Luqman Amat foxed three defenders and sprinted his way to score under the posts. Minhaj added the extras which gave Zahira another fighting chance.
ThePapare Match Centre..
However, the inability to hold onto possession, and indiscipline at breakdowns cost Zahira the game. Trinitian Flanker, Nethwara Dulandith, scored the games final try, after spotting the yawing gap in front of him at the breakdown. Although he came in to secure the ruck, he collected the ball and just walked over to go over the line and score. Sakalasooriya’s missed the conversion, but it didn’t matter since the Lions had already won the game. (TCK 34 – 15 ZC)
It was a little too late for Zahira to fight back, but they sure did play their hearts out. As Referee Priya Suranga blew the final whistle, both teams stepped off the field hand in hand ending their run in this 2018 League successfully.
Full Time : Trinity College 34 (6T, 2C) won – 15 Zahira College (2T 1C 1P)
ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Tehan Karunanayake (TCK)
Referee: Priya Suranga
Points Breakdown – TCK
Tries : Praveenda Wijethilaka 2, Avishka Shiek, Vishwa Ranaraja, Reshan Bandaranayake, Nethwara Dulandith
Conversions : Akitha Sakalasooriya (2)
Points Breakdown – ZC
Tries : Muammar Deen, Luqman Ahamat
Conversions : Minhaj Samsudeen (1C & 1P)