2022 Schools Rugby League, Round 01 Week 05.
By Jason Perera
Royal College, Colombo kept their reputation intact when they came from behind 3-0 down to beat St.Joseph College Colombo by 17 points (3 tries, 1 conversion) To 03 points (1 Penalty) in their Inter-Schools Rugby League match played at Havelock Park yesterday. At halftime, Royal College was leading 7 points to 3.
The match got off to a fantastic start with both forwards engaged in a hectic battle for position. Even though Joe’s forwards were bigger in size, the smaller Royal pack played a faster game in the loose. The surprising factor was the entire Royal three-quarter line was very much faster than the Joes three quarters, even though Royal played without their original skipper cum centre, Peiris who did not play this game due to a concussion that took place last week against the Thomians.
Joes opened the scoring when a Royal forward was penalized for an infringement by the referee and Joe’s fullback, Dilshara subash put over a 30 metre penalty to read the score St.Joseph’s 3 to Royal Nil.
In the 12th minute of play, Royal College equalled the score when their second row forwards Rahil Wijesekara scored through a rolling maul and Nabil Yahiya slotted in the conversion. The score read Royal 7 to St.Joseph’s 3.
At halftime the score read Royal College 7 to St.Joseph’s College 3.
After the resumption in the 64th minute of play, off another rolling maul, Royal hooker Danuja Samararatne touched down for a superb try far left. Yahiya failed with the difficult conversion but went into a 12-3 lead.
In the 67th minute of the game Royal scrum half Hasnaka Hikgoda put the game to bed when he collected the high ball and sprinted through the St. Joseph’s defence to score an exceptional try far left which their fullback, Yahiya, missed the conversion and the score read 17-3 in favour of Royal College.
In the end, victorious Royal College beat their fame counterparts, St.Joseph’s College by 17 points to 3.
Referee: Ishanka Abayakoon.
Bit of Trivia; The traditional Rugby fixture between St.Joseph’s College and Royal College commenced in 1955, the first year St.Joseph’s entered competitive Schools Rugby and this was the maiden match for Josephians. St. Joseph’s College led by Mahendra Dias and Royal College was led by C.V. Gooneratne. The match was played at CR & FC grounds, Royalists won by 18-0. The series has been dominated since then by Royal winning 41 out of 47 played including this year’s encounter against 04 Draws and 02 losses. St. Joseph’s College won last in 1999 under Lakshitha Gunaratne 23-22. The series’ highest winning margin was recorded in 1981 when Royal College under Sujeewa Cooray won by 72-0 which comprised 08 Goals and 06 tries.
Here’s more about Joes Rugby; https://wp.me/samMfJ-488682
More about 1981 Royal Rugby Season; https://wp.me/pamMfJ-2ch6
Match Photo album: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.4578549812247500&type=3