Isipathana fight to regain lost glory

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Isipathana continued their dominance in the ongoing Dialog inter schools’ rugby league when they toppled St. Peter’s 29-17 in their must win game on Sunday. They now lead the points table in their group at the end of the third week.

Tagged as the Kings of Rugby, Isipathana did not have a good outing in the 2019 season. They finished 6th with four wins under their belt. They were disappointing in the previous year (2018) too, finishing 4th with five wins from nine games. Past is past, and all that the team should focus on now is to put up a good show this time around.

Isipathana met Science in their first outing, which they won 18-9 at Havelock Park. In their 2nd match against Wesley, they made sure none of the Wesleyites breached their defence. Another hard fought 10-00 victory.

“We are laying out the game plan match by match. Restarting rugby was not easy after COVID, and we do have a lot of youngsters who are playing in the first XV. Our main aim during the off season was to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the players, monitor them, give them game time and confidence. I think this was a common challenge for all the schools. The league happening this year does a world of good for the players and for national Rugby,” commented Saliya Kumara, the former Kandy SC and National utility back who is in charge of the Green Machines in his coaching debut.

Pathana has a mixture of a few seniors and a bunch of good youngsters. According to Saliya, their first plan is to lead the group, which comprises St. Peter’s, Wesley, Science, Vidyartha, and Dharmaraja. “We have a few seniors who bring strength to the team. Our skipper, No.8 Dahan Nithina, fly half Naveen Kavishka, scrum half Sehandu de Costa, hooker Venura Sangeeth, Wewala Pandith and Soorya Dodangoda, who plays a pivotal role in the 2nd row, are our seniors and the main players.”

The same team won the under-16 all island 10-a-side championship under captain Dahan in 2018, and are all out to continue their dominance in the league.

Isipathana 1st XV rugby pool:

Props: Samith Ravishan, Hesara Nayanajith, Senuth Dinusara, Kenula Mihisara, Dunila Hansidu, Kavin Tharusha

Hooker: Venura Sangeeth,Lasitha Nilupul

Locks: Soorya Dodangoda, Nisanja Dunith, Tehan Ranaweera

Flankers:  Wewala Pandith, Pubudu Shashin, Lahiru Akash, Naveen Kanishka

N0 08: Dahan Nithina (captain)

Scum half: Sehandu de Costa, Tharindu Eranda, Kalindu Silva

Fly Half: Shahid Zumri, Senan Chandive

Centres: Sonal Sansoni, Mesaanda Rashvida, Chamindu Chirath, Dinada Thinual

Wingers: Praveen Stephan (V captain), Rinesh Silva, Bashitha Chathuranga, Manjula Heshan, Hashen Randimal, Chamath Iroshan, Yasiru Rashmitha and Hashen Randimal

Full Back: Zaheer Zuhan, Malith Mihisara, Abdullah Faizer

Head Coach: Saliya Kumara

Forward Coach: Danushka Botheju

(Picture Courtesy thepapare.com)

By Vimukthi Adithya