Published : 9:00 am  June 28, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (680) reads | 


BY M. SHAMIL AMIT Royal College got the better of Wesley College 29 points to 21 in the third quarter-final of the Schools U20 Milo President’s Trophy rugby knockout tournament played at the Royal Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue yesterday. Royal having taken a 17-6 lead at the breather made up their points through two goals and three tries as opposed to the goal, try, penalty and two drop goals scored by Wesley. It was a match of missed opportunities for both sides due to poor handling of the ball even though the Royalists came out winners, and it was the Royal pack that saw them through while Wesley depended on their forwards who failed to grab the chances they got.

The Wesleyites put up the first scoring in the second minute through a drop goal booted over by Flyhalf Murshid Zubair but the Royalists shot back two minutes later with Winger Sabith Feroze going over for an unconverted try. Wesley, who gave the Royalists some anxious moments when the two sides met each other the previous time in the league clash which they lost by just three points, were expected to put in a repeat performance. But it was not to be as they were well below that performance, which the Royalists took advantage of. In an enthralling battle between the two sides it was Royal who made the next score, which came nearly 15 minutes later with second row Ashen Fernando’s try and Flyhalf Ovin Askey making the conversion. The Royalists though having possession of the ball failed to turn it into points as they were unable to breach the Wesley defence. However they managed to increase their lead in the 33rd minute through a try by hooker Azmir Fajudeen who had a successful game in their last league encounter against Science College where he scored all the five tries for his side.

Five minutes later Wesley being offered a penalty saw scrum half Avishka Lee booting it over with ease. When the short whistle was blown Royal led 17-6. On resumption the two sides shared the honours but also saw them missing easy scoring opportunities and it took 15 minutes for the next score which was by Royal with Azmir Fajudeen going over for his second try of the match but the conversion was fluffed. The Wesleyites undeterred went on the attack and gave the Royalists a torrid time which ended in skipper and prop forward Zayan Sabar barging his way through for an under the posts try giving Avishka Lee an easy kick at goal. In a scrummage ten metres in Wesley territory Royal flanker Hasith Lokugamage went over for a try and with Ovin Askey making the conversion at which point they had almost had the game in their pocket. A later surge by the Wesleyites in the latter stages of the game was too late as a drop goal booted over by Avishka and an unconverted try scored by winger Dineru Ranaweera was not going to prevent from Royal booking their berth to the semi finals. Referee – Priya Suranga