Royal end round 1 on top

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Defending champions Royal ended their round 1 campaign on top when they beat St Joseph’s by 17 points (3 tries, 1 conversion) to 3 points (1 penalty) at Havelock Park on Friday.

At the short breather Royal led 7/3.

Royal forwards displayed some top-class rugby who were well supported by the three quarters. They were lightning fast on the loose ball, and in attack split the Joes line which was all over the Park. Joes had no penetration and their defense was fell apart under the relentless attack from the Reid Avenue lads.

Joes played well in patches, but lacked the finishing touches. They had territory in the initial half but failed to convert it to points.

For Royal Nabeel Yehya, Hasanka Hikkgoda and Rahil Wijeskera played their hearts, out while for the losers the Marasinghe brothers and Dilhara Subash were outstanding.

Royal scored through Rahil Wijesekera, Danuja Samararatne and Hasanka Hikkgoda with Nabeel Yehya converting one of them. For Joes their penalty was put over by Dilhara Subash.

Referee Ishanka Abeykoon

Royal ended their round 1 with 4 wins and 1 loss (to Trinity) and collected 23 points. Joes are second with 17 points and will need a big win over the Antonians in their last group encounter next week in Colombo.

Meanwhile, Trinity will need to gain a bonus point win against Kingswood on Saturday in Pallekelle in order to advance to round 2 as one of the top 2 teams.

In the other segment, Isipathana (16), Wesley (12) and Vidyartha (10) are front runners for the top two positions.

The top two teams in each group will play across during first and second week in August, while the knock out will be held during the latter part of August.

By Special Correspondent