Joes face acid test against Royal

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Unbeaten St. Joseph’s will face an acid test when they lock horns with defending champions Royal at Havelock Park on 22 July. This is a must win game for Royal in order to move forward to round-2 as one of the top two teams in the league.

Joes have some top-class players like Naveen Marasinghe, Dilhara Subash, skipper Teran Karunanayake and Daham Dias in their outfit. They are coached by
Sri Lanka Men’s Head Coach Nilfer Ibrahim, who will take wing for the Commonwealth Games soon afterwards.

Royal are led by Harshith Peiris. Their full back Nabeel Yehya is one of the best players in the school league. His kicks at goal and kicks to touch has gained much needed territory advantage for the Reid Avenue outfit.

This will be their last league game. They have beaten Antonians, Kingswood and S. Thomas, while losing to Trinity. They are coached by Dushantha Lewke with Radika Hettiarachchi assisting him. 

On form, Joes hold slight edge, which will put Royal out of the title equation, while the Darley Road outfit will take one step closer to the league title.

Referee Ishanka Abeykoon

 Trinity out for bonus win

Trinity will be all out to end their last round one game with a bonus points win over wooden spoonists Kingswood.

After some top-class performances against the Thomians, Antonians and Royalists, Trinity lost their way against Joes at Pallekelle last weekend. Though they dominated play in the latter half, they were unable to capitalize on the territory gained into points, and in the end, they had to pay the price.

Skipper Lithmal Moragoda is nursing an injury and is a doubtful starter. However, they have some class acts in Jayageeth Basnayake, Aattab Manzil, Kovida Wickremasinghe, Zeshan Zakir and Sheveen Premaratne. In the absence of Lithmal, deputy Loshika Wijekoon will take over the captaincy.

Meanwhile, the Randles Hill lads are going through a lean patch this season. They are led by Randila Runaweera with Buddhika Thalagampola as their Head Coach with Roshan Weeraratne supporting the outfit. Majority of their players are in their initial year of Under-20 rugby. After Covid they lost majority of their good players during the ensuing 2 years. They also have one senior, who is also their star player, Imanka Ishara.

Trinity should be home without much trouble here.

Referee Kelum Sandaruwan

Vidyartha to continue

winning ways

After their giant killing performance against the Peterites, which came after a decade, Vidyartha look a totally different side. They continued their onward march by beating Rajans in their next game. They went down to Wesley in their curtain raiser. 

They have always played good rugby, especially under wet conditions with their heavy set of forwards, but they will be tested fully in steamy Mount Lavinia when they lock horns with Science College.

Science is no push over. Though they are yet to register a win, they performed well against Rajans up in Kandy which ended in a draw. They have lost to Isipathana and Wesley so far this season.

The Kandy lads are led by Arosha Rathnayake and ched by one of their Old Boys, Nalin Wijesinghe. A win here could give them a very good chance of qualifying for round-2. Their last game against Isipathana will be in Kandy.

Science is led by Hansaka Lakshan and have some fast runners in the team. It will be up to their forwards to support the runners with good ball.

Referee Aaqil Jamaldeen

Isipathana to continue

unbeaten run

Isipathana, one of the two unbeaten sides in the league, should have a stroll at Havelock Park when they host Dharmaraja.

Having displayed high standard of running rugby, Isipathana will be all out to end on a winning note plus earn a bonus point out of this encounter.

Meanwhile, Rajans have been inconsistent this season. They lost to St. Peter’s and Vidyartha, while Science held them to a draw in Kandy.

Dahan Nithina leads the Havelock Town lads with technically correct Saliya Kumara – who is also the Women’s Head Coach for the Commonwealth Games 2022 – looking after the lads as Head Coach.

Rajans are led by their Co Captains, Saumya Wijesiri and Thenuka Wickremasinghe.

Referee Raveen Alexander

Wesley hold slight edge

Wesley will hold a slight edge when they play St. Peter’s, who are smarting with two back-to-back defeats in their league encounters.

They lost to Vidyartha in Kandy after a decade, while the Isipathana game too was a tough ask for them and they ended on the wrong side.

A defeat at the hands of Wesley will put them out of the race for the League this year.

Wesley scored wins over Vidyartha and Science convincingly, but lost to Isipathana. They have one more game against Dharmaraja in their group.

Referee Hasantha Weranga

Thomians face tough task

Thomians, who are yet to register a win this season, will be hoping to register their first win in the group stage when they clash against St. Anthony’s Katugastota. Thomians have lost to Trinity, Royal and Joes, while their encounter against Kingswood was postponed.

SACK possess a very good all-round outfit. They went down fighting to Royal and Trinity, but outclassed Kingswood with the seasons highest score 57/7. Their last group outing will be against Joes.

Thomians are led by burly number 8 Chariya Kurukulasuriya, an outstanding leader, with the game changer being their fly half Bulathsinhalage.

SACK are led by Jeyan Amarasinghe, and will bank on their seniors Keerthisiri and Tyrone to win this one.

Referee Gihan Yatawara

FIXTURES

22 – St. Joseph’s vs Royal at Havelock Park

23 – Trinity vs Kingswood in Pallekelle

23 – Vidyartha vs Science in Mt. Lavinia

23 – Isipathana vs Dharmaraja at Havelock Park

23 – St. Peter’s vs Wesley in Bambalapitiya

25 – S. Thomas’ vs St. Anthony’s at Havelock Park

By Special Correspondent