Foregone outcomes and a thriller followed by mayhem – Schools Rugby League 2024

By Special Correspondent;

As the third week of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024 concluded, obvious outcomes were the feature of the eight games besides two key encounters.

These notable fixtures were between defending champions St. Peter’s College and Wesley College played at Bambalapitiya, while the other, a close clash between hosts Science College and S. Thomas’ College, which ended in an unexpected mayhem at Ratmalana.

Peterites prevail over gritty Wesley

Title holders, St. Peter’s College had to face perhaps their stiffest challenge thus far this season, as they were made to work hard towards a mediocre 25-10 win at Bambalapitiya on Saturday. The Peterites had to undergo some anxious moments while struggling at certain stages to counter a marauding Wesley unit, who looked fully charged after their previous week’s 70-3 thrashing against Thurstan College.

At halftime St. Peter’s were holding on to a slender 12-10 lead, but they managed to contain the Double Blues after the turnaround and chalk up their third successive win with a tally of four tries, a conversion and a penalty. Wesley did all their scoring during the first half, through two unconverted tries, but the final score does not really depict their efforts and challenges possessed against the home team.

Thomians overcome Science test

S. Thomas’ College continued their winning streak for the second week running, as they had a narrow escape against Science College by 30-26 after a thrilling clash at Ratmalana. The game started rapidly as Science rushed to open the scoring, but the Thomians responded quite well to finish the first half at 13-7 in their favour.

In the end, S. Thomas’ prevailed after scoring from five tries, a conversion and a penalty to enjoy a four-point buffer. Science scored from four tries and three conversions, as both teams claimed bonus points for the number of tries scored, above four, while the hosts added another bonus point for losing by a margin of five points or less.

But hell broke loose once the final whistle was blown as referee Ishanka Abbeykoon, assistant referees Jeewaka Fonseka and Gihan Yatawara along with two other officials were assaulted by a few individuals, who were identified as supporters of Science College. This was after a doubtful decision regarding a try by the on-field referee, Abeykoon who consulted his assistant Fonseka, disallowed the try scored by hosts Science, prompting a few spectators to attack the match officials while on the ground.

Later the three match officials were admitted to Kalubowila Hospital for treatment and three individuals involved in the altercation, have been arrested by the police. Later issuing a statement, Science College offered its apology to the Schools Rugby section and pledged their fullest cooperation into any inquiry conducted by the governing body.

Dons continue their impressive winning march

D.S. Senanayake College recorded their third successive win of the ongoing schools rugby season, with an astounding 30-17 victory against St. Anthony’s College at Havelock Park on Friday. Already recording wins against Dharmaraja (44-12) and Trinity (14-10), one of the major upsets of the competition thus far, the Dons marched to their third consecutive win, and remain unbeaten alongside St. Peter’s Isipathana and Royal.

Leading at halftime by a slender point, 15-14, D.S. Senanayake completely outplayed the Eagles in the second half by completing the game with a tally of five tries, a conversion and a penalty, while earning bonus points. The gritty St. Anthony’s, however, could not continue with their impressive first half performance against a clinical D.S. Senanayake side, despite scoring from two converted tries in the first half, and a penalty in the second half.

Green Machine demolish Rajans

Isipathana College recorded their third consecutive win in the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024, after an eight-try 46-8 demolition against Dharmaraja College at Havelock Park on Saturday. Coming in as firm favourites against the Rajans, who travelled all the way from Kandy to suffer their second defeat, Isipathana scored from a total of eight tries and three conversions, while earning bonus points.

They lead by a commanding 31-3 at halftime while conceding a few scoring opportunities to Dharmaraja, who scored from an unconverted try and a penalty. Despite their early onslaught, Dharmaraja put up the first three points on the board, but they failed to capitalise against the marauding Green Machine, who played with a perfect plan throughout the game.

Tuskers outsmart Tankers

Title contenders Royal College made their intentions clear by recording a commanding 34-7 victory against Zahira College at Maradana while sealing their third successive win of the ongoing season. Royal played up to their true potential to complete the first half with an unassailing 19-0 lead, while scoring their points from five tries, three conversions and a penalty, to add bonus points to their points tally.

Zahira, on the other hand, were neatly thwarted by their opponents, causing the hosts their third back-to-back defeat, this time by a healthy margin. Though Zahira’s previous two defeats were close and well fought, this time they were outsmarted by Royal, who conceded a converted try to their losing opponents.

Joes in commanding win over Thurstanites

Coming back strong from their defeat in the opening week against Vidyartha College, St. Joseph’s College cruised to record a comfortable 47-9 win against Thurstan College at Ratmalana on Saturday. However, they were well contained by Thurstan during the first half, after which St. Joseph’s managed to hold on to a 12-6 lead.

But they accelerated after the turnaround to completely dominate hosts Thurstan and scored from a tally of six tries and five conversions while adding bonus points. Thurstan made a splendid start, putting up the first points on the board, but they were eventually given the liberty to from three penalties.

Trinity bounce back to beat newbies

After their shocking defeat against D.S. Senanayake College last week, Trinity College bounced back to display their true potential with a commanding 49-14 win against newcomers Sri Sumangala College at Bogambara Stadium in Kandy on Sunday. It was the first time in the three weeks that Trinity showed what they are really capable of, despite their opponent’s being inexperienced in this stage.

Trinity went on to smash Sri Sumangala with a tally of nine tries and two conversions, while earning bonus points, setting their tone and finding the rhythm back towards the remainder of the schools league season and the much anticipated Bradby Shield encounter. Despite leading by 32-5 at halftime, Trinity was given a slight counterattack by Sri Sumangala, who managed to score from an unconverted try and three penalties.

Tigers bounce back strong against Kingswood

After suffering their first defeat last week at the hands of Royal College, Vidyartha College regained their momentum to record a smashing 50-13 win against a less impressive Kingswood College side at the Bogambara Stadium on Sunday. After recording an impressive upset against St. Joseph’s in the opening week by 27-22, Vidyartha was rated as one of the strongest sides in this year’s schools rugby league.

They kept that tag intact with last Sunday’s win against their hometown rivals, as the Tigers led the halftime by 19-8. They eventually accelerated their pace to end up with a tally of eight tries and five conversions, inclusive of bonus points, while Kingswood managed to score from two unconverted tries and a penalty.

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