Published : 10:05 am April 30, 2012
Royal College should consider themselves lucky in posting a 38 points (4 goals 2 tries) to 29 (4 tries, 2 penalties and a drop goal) win over the newcomers to top division rugby Vidyartha College in their schools under 20 Division one rugby tournament match played at the Nittawela Rugby Stadium, Kandy yesterday. At half time Royal appeared to be in full command leading 24-8.
The final score line especially in the second half and a gifted try to Royal College does not do justice to Vidyartha College for their gallant display. Royal held sway in the scrums and line outs but Vidyartha College hit back in the loose. However spilled passes and poor positional play and adding to their woes was poor spot kicking that blew up their chances of scoring an upset win.
Royal appeared to be the first side to settle down as the game was barely six minutes their center Damien Ratwatte scored two tries and one of which was converted by fly half Arshad Jamaldeen. One thought the Royalists would run riot but that was never to be. Royal led 12-0 at this stage.
Vidyartha woke up from their slumber to score a try through winger Shanaka Bandara and penalty converted by Chamath Fernando to reduce the lead to 8-12. But they appeared to be complacent and in the 31st minute, Royal set their three quarters in motion and full back Rimzi Jamaldeen formed the “overlap” to score far left. Arshad Jamaldeen failed to add the extra points as the ball struck the posts.
With minutes to go for the short break Vidyartha’s defence once again relaxed and allowed scrum half Ranishan Dassanayake to pierce the defence to score under the posts and Arshad Jamaldeen added the extra points for Royal to lead 24-8 at lemons.
Soon after resumption Royal forwards carried the ball deep and No. 8 Madusha Kularatne scored under the post. Jamaldeen kicked with ease to increase his side’s lead to 31-8. It appeared that it was all over for Vidyartha bar the shouting.
But they fought back like ‘tigers’ to have the Royalists cornered. However they really did not go for the kill, though they scored twice through their skipper and No. 8 Jason Dissanayake one of which was near the posts but extra points was not their luck. Vidyartha had reduced the gap to 18-31.
A 30 metre drop goal executed by scrum half Chamath Fernando saw Vidyartha further reduce the lead to 21-31. Chamath Fernando also converted a 30 metre penalty close the gap 24-31.
It was in the 32nd minute that Vidyartha allowed the game slip away when a misdirected clearance from the ‘in goal’ area by fly half Bandara saw Royal’s winger Nimshan Jayawardena smothering it and falling over under the posts. Jamaldeen added the extra points without much of an effort and Royal had extended their lead to 38 -24.
In the dying stages of the game Vidyartha’s scrum half Chamath sprinted across to score near the posts but surprisingly missed the kick at goal.
Gamini Indrasena refereed.
By U J Jezeem