Published : 9:00 am  July 4, 2016 | No comments so far |  |  (561) reads | 


Royal forwards unleashing a move. Action in the Royal – S. Thomas’ semi-final clash yesterday at the Royal Sports Complex ground.

Royal’s back to back tries within a space of ten minutes in the second half, the first by hooker Azmir Fajudeen and the other by skipper and No. 8 Nikhila Gunadheera paved the way for them to record a 24 points to 15 win over arch rivals S. Thomas’ in the second semi final of the Milo U20 President’s Trophy schools rugby tournament played at Royal Sports Complex ground in Reid Avenue yesterday. It was sweet revenge for the Royalists having undergone a defeat in the league encounter earlier in the season as they accumulated their points through three goals and a penalty to a goal, a try and a penalty after the game was deadlocked ten points apiece at the breather. Royal hooker Azmir continued his good form as he scored two of the three tries.

The Thomian forwards were unable to make any headway and it was their over confidence that brought them their down fall. Their star winger Naveen Henakankanamage was a marked man which also made a big difference and added to that the Thoras were down to 14 players at the halfway stage of the second half after skipper Pandula de Silva was sin binned. It was the Thomians who drew first blood with the game just minutes old with prop forward Wayne Mack going over for a try and centre Ashwantha Herath adding the extra points. The Royalists had come well prepared and they seemed not to be in a hurry and seven minutes later being offered a penalty saw fly half Ovin Askey making no mistake with the kick.

They had the Thomians in a spot of bother and off a line out they succeeded to take over the lead with their famous rolling maul as they rattled the Thomian defence which ended in hooker Azmir Fajudeen going over for a try and Ovin Askey making the conversion for Royal to lead 10-7. Though Royal continued to dominate the proceedings they were unable to turn it into points and the Thomians in the meantime succeeded to make it ten each thanks to a penalty booted over by Ashwantha Herath which score stood at lemons. The resumption saw Royal going into the attack and in the process had the Thomian defence under pressure. The Thomians looked clueless and Royal taking advantage scored back to back tries in identical style.

The two tries were initiated through five meter line outs with the rolling maul following for Azmir Fajudeen and skipper Nikhila Gunadeera to touch down. Ovin Askey successfully converted both the tries. Although Thomian full back Mayon Jayawardena went over for an unconverted try it could not prevent Royal from winning the game to book a berth in the final where they will now meet Isipathana on July 9. REFEREE – ROHAN FERNANDO