Two unbeaten teams, Trinity and St. Joseph’s, will lock horns on 16 July at the Pallekelle Rugby Stadium, which should turn out to be one of the most thrilling encounters of the tournament.
Kick-off is scheduled at 4.00 p.m.
This week will see six more matches being worked off, with three in Colombo and three taking place in Kandy, provided there are no travel restrictions and curfew in Colombo or other part of the country.
Trinity vs St. Joseph’s
Joes had an easy 34/3 win over Kingswood in their first game, and then had to go the extra mile to overcome the gutsy boys from Mt. Lavinia to win the Lady Jayathilake Shield 30/28.
Joes are led by their cracking centre Teran Karunanayake, and have some outstanding senior players in their ranks, such as scrum half Vihanga Randeepa and fly half Dilhara Subash, who have guided them well so far. They are very fortunate to have the National Men’s Coach Nilfer Ibrahim with them for yet another season
Trinity beat Thomians 20/13 to regain the Canon de Saram Trophy in their opening encounter, and then went on to edge out the Antonians 25/18. Their third game was a league encounter against arch rivals Royal, edging them out 21/20 in a thriller.
The lads from Kandy are led by Lithmal Moragoda and possess some cracking players such as deputy Loshika Wijekoon, Zeshan Zakeer, Jayageeth Basnayake, Chamendra Dhanapala, Sheveen Premaratne and Kovida Wickremasinghe in their starting line-up. They are a well-balanced outfit with rock solid forwards and fast running three quarters.
Full back Kovida Wickremasinghe is the lad to watch from the three-quarter line. His kicks to touch to gain territory plus kicks at goal have been above average this season.
On form and playing at home the ‘Lions’ hold a slight edge in this game.
Referee Praneeth Weranga
Royal out to retain Michael Gunaratne Trophy
Smarting from their defeat at the hands of Trinity last week, Royal will be all out to return to winning form when they meet the Thomians for the Michael Gunaratne Trophy at the Royal Sports Complex on 16 July.
Royal need to win their balance two games in order to secure a second-round berth in the league, plus to retain the Gunaratne Trophy as well for the fourth year-in-a-row. The last encounter was played in Mount Lavinia with the Royalist winning 17/10. Thomians last won in 2016.
The highest score in the series goes to Shabith Feroze’s Royal outfit when they ran riot 52/0 in 2015, while Thomians best effort was in 1991 under Charya de Saram.
Royal beat Antonians and Kingswoodians while losing out to Trinity. Meanwhile, Thomians lost to Trinity and Joes in their two encounters.
Thomians are led by number 8 Chariya Kurukulasuriya, while Royal is led by Harshith Peiris.
Referee Raveen Alexander
Wesley to be tested by Science
Wesley College, who beat Vidyartha and lost to Isipathana, will go all out to return to winning ways when they host Science College at Longdon Place on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Science lost to Isipathana and held Rajans to a thrilling draw in Kandy. They too will be at their best to maintain their winning streak. Their fast running three quarter line will be a major threat to Wesley.
Wesley is led by Tharusha Jayaweera, while Science leadership has been handed over to fast running Hansaka Lakshan.
Referee Ishanka Abeykoon
Isipathana to continue winning streak
Isipathana, one of three teams to remain unbeaten in the league so far, will be out for their third win when they host the Peterites at Havelock Park. Isipathana beat Science and Wesely, while the lads from Bambalapitiya outplayed Rajans and lost out in a shocker in Kandy to Vidyartha after a lapse of 10 years.
The lads from Bambalapitiya will be all out for a win, but Isipathana hold the edge to continue their winning streak. A defeat here will put the Peterite out of the equation for the League title.
Referee Ishanka Abeykoon
Vidyartha to continue winning ways
Vidyartha College will be returning to the field after a week’s rest when they take on Dharmaraja in Nittawela. The ‘Tigers’ after a remarkable win against St. Peter’s will be a threat to many schools this season and should pull this one off.
Meanwhile, Rajans lost to St Peter’s and drew with Science in their two outings.
Referee Gihan Yatawara
Antonians out to make amends
Katugastota Antonians will be all out to end their losing streak when they host Kingswood College in their third outing. Antonians got a good side, but their opening two encounters were acid tests for them against tough opponents. They were beaten by Royal and edged out by Trinity after dominating proceedings for more than 50 minutes of the game.
Meanwhile, the weakest side in the league, Kingswood College, will find it tough to contain the Antonians.
Referee Diulm Deeshana
16 – Royal vs St Thomas (Royal Sports Complex)
16 – Isipathana vs St. Peter’s (Havelock Park)
16 – Trinity vs St. Joseph’s (Pallekelle)
16 – Dharmaraja vs Vidyartha (Nittawela)
16 – Wesley vs Science (Longdon Place)
17 – Kingswood vs St. Anthony’s (Nittawela)
By Special Correspondent