Royal hold slight edge over Trinity

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Two unbeaten teams, defending champion Royal and Trinity, will clash at the Royal Sports Complex today (8 July). Kickoff is scheduled for 4.00 p.m.

Royal will be playing their third home game this season. They beat Antonians 22/12 – after a scrappy performance in the first half – and then outclassed Kingswood, the weakest side in the league, 53/0. Royal is led by Harshitha Peiris and coached by one of their old boys, CR and FC, Kandy SC and national player, Dushantha Lewke, with Radhika Hettiarachchi as his deputy.

Trinity will depend heavily on their speedy three-quarter line. Aattab Manzil, skipper, Lithmal Moragoda and Kovida Wickremasinghe are their star players. Kovida will support the team with his touch kicks to gain territory, plus his kicks at goal have been very accurate this season. Loshika Wijekoon, Jayageeth Basnayake and Zeshan Zakeer will be the players to watch from their rock solid forwards.

Trinity won both their two encounters – against Thomians 20/12 played for Canon de Saram Shield, and Antonians 25/18. Trinity will be playing in Colombo for the first time this season.

On current form, Royal hold a slight edge.

Though this encounter will not be part of the Bradby Shield series, Royal are the holders of the Bradby Shield emerging victorious in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively, while Trinity last won the Bradby Shield way back in 2014.

Referee: Dilum Deeshana

Peterites to bounce back

St Peter’s smarting at their defeat last weekend in Kandy against Vidyartha will be hoping to fire on all cylinders when they clash against a spirited Science outfit on 9 July in Ratmalana.

St. Peter’s beat Dharmaraja in their opening encounter due to a superb second half effort.

Meanwhile, the lads from Mt. Lavinia went down to Isipathana in their opening encounter, but bounced back to draw their match against Rajans up in the Hills.

The lads from Bambalapitiya will need to put the scores on board early in the first half, if not they could get into deep trouble once more, as Science is no push over.

Referee: Aaqil Jamaldeen

Isipathana head to Kandy

Unbeaten Isipathana will be under pressure when they lock horns with the high riding Vidyartha boys at the Bogambara Stadium on 9 July.

Isipathana overcame Science and Wesley in their first two outings, while Vidyartha were convincingly beaten by Wesley in Colombo but came back strongly to beat title contenders St. Peter’s last weekend in Kandy. This encounter was played under wet conditions and Vidyartha scored early in the first half.

Isipathana is led by Dahan Wickramarachchi and will be supported by his deputy Praveen Stefan, Venura Kodagoda and Tharindu Sandaruwan. They are coached by Saliya Kumara who is also the national Women’s Sevens coach.

Vidyartha is led by Arosh Rathnayake and will be well supported by Kavishka Wijeratne, Kalana Sathsara, Deshan Balasooriya and Menuka Madusha. They are coached by Nalin Wijesinghe, one of their old boys. They also have the experienced Ananda Kasturiarachchi as their Rugby Director/Consultant.

Referee: Ishanka Abeykoon

Thomians seek their first win

Thomians led by star number 8, Chariya Kurukulasuriya will be in the Central Hills for the second time this season when they lock horns against Kingswood at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium on 10 July.

Kingswood is one of the weakest sides in the league and will need to put up a good performance if they are to pull this one off, which is highly unlikely. They lost to Joes 34/3 and Royal 53/0.

Thomians had two good outings though ending up on the losing side. They lost to Trinity 13/20 and were edged out by Joes 28/30. Other star players in the Thomian outfit are fly half Yehan Bulathsinghalage, Shenal Fernando and Viyan de Silva. They are coached by one of the best and most experienced readers of the game, Shamly Nawas.

The Randles Hills outfit is led by Randila Ranaweera supported by Eshara Dissanayake and Imanka Ishara. They are coached by former Isipathana and Kandy SC player Buddhika Thalagampola with Roshan Weeraratne assisting him.

Referee: Kelum Sandaruwan

Wesley out to make amends

‘Dark Horse’ Wesley will be out for their second win when they lock horns with Dharmaraja in Nittawela on 9 July.

Wesley beat Vidyartha 38/7 in their opener, but ended on the losing side against the tough Green Shirts last weekend. They are led by Tharusha Jayaweera. These lads were the Under-16 All Island champion outfit 3 years back.

Rajans have co-captains Saumya Wijesiri and Thenuka Wickremasinghe this year, with Dilshan Sasanka and Anjana Ellegonna to support them.

On form, Wesley should register their second win.

Referee: P. Weranga

Joes to continue winning streak

Joes will be all out to continue their winning form when they lock horns with St. Anthony’s. Joes beat Kingswood 34/3 and edged out Thomians 30/28.

Meanwhile Antonians had two close calls but ended on the wrong side – against Royal 12/22 and Trinity 18/25.

Teran Karunanayake leads the Darley Road outfit with Nilfer Ibrahim as their Head Coach, and Antonians by Jeyan Amarasinghe with Sumedha Malawana as their coach.

Joes should have things their own way.

Referee: Raveen Alexander

FIXTURES

08 – Royal vs Trinity at Royal Sports Complex

09 – Science vs St. Peter’s in Ratmalana

09 – Vidyartha vs Isipathana in Bogambara

09 – St. Joseph’s vs St. Anthony’s at Havelock Park

09 – Dharmaraja vs Wesley in Nittawela

10 – Kingswood vs S. Thomas’ in Nittawela        

By Special Correspondent