Science Collage back on the track

It was a wonderful sight to see a beautiful green top and a soft ground in Mount Lavinia when minnows Science played hosts to St Josephs who the other minnows of Division “ A” rugby. This was the first “A” Division match that was being played on this ground that has been done up. This was the first year Science is playing in the top of the school league format. They should be proud to be on this property that would be helpful in producing more players to the top league.

In the past Science College has been a source of supply to the national team. Famous names include Nazeem Mohammed, Sanjeewa Jayasinghe, Royce Samaratunge, Hilmy Zaheed, Damith Jayawardena, U.K. Ranjith and Hasitha Boteju among others.

The revamped Science College rugby grounds. - Pic by Manoj Weerasekera

Nazeem the force behind Science said that rugby has been the sport that has contributed to the school. It has helped many a student who has a background of being under-privileged to stay afloat as rugby has been a passport to employment. He was also of praise of MAC Perera a product of S. Thomas’ who has been a live wire in keeping rugby at Science College alive for the last twenty years. Unsung hero was how he described MAC who has done so much for the game through Science College.

Many of the schools that are in the lower division have played on this ground in the recent past. This ground needs to be further improved so that the schools that play in the second segment will have a place when they don’t have their own. The ground needs the finishing that should see the separation of the playing enclosure and the development of the pavilion and upgrading of the dressing room etc; With limited resources they have done well. The SLRFU should look at the prospects of helping the development of this ground for the future.

I was also told by Nazeem is that they have brought the ground and rugby to this level and what they need now is a sponsor who can help to sustain what they have done. A win would have been a chip on their shoulder. Starting off with bang they led ten nil for a good portion of the first half which ended as 10 all as the break was taken. St Josephs got into an early lead in the second half but fell into a sort of twilight slumber and were threatened at a score of 25 points to 24 with injury time left to be played. The match ended in favour of Joes with a score of 28 points to 24 as the last minute penalty was put over by the Joes full back who kept the scoreboard ticking from all opportunities that he got. This was in contrast to the previous week when penalties under the post were not taken in their match against Royal. The game was interesting with scoreline being close. Yet one did not see rugby that showed skill and flare.

Royal as in the last week managed to pull a victory from the jaws of defeat. It was a fast game of rugby dominated by Wesley. What prevented a Wesley victory was the inability to finish what they started. Contributing to this was that they looked the executing of practice drills with no punch or the feeling to finish.

Arch rivals Trinity on the other hand had a ball of a time scoring 76 points against a hapless S. Thomas’ side at Mount Lavinia. S. Thomas, the only side in the schools “A” segment that has not faced relegation stares at the prospects unless they can pull something out of the hat. It will be an interesting tussle as the schools at the bottom of will fight to remain in the top league. At the end of two weeks, St Peters, Kingswood, Royal, Isipathana and Trinity have won two matches each. Wesley is another team that can fight to be among the first five but need to play the game with some variation and a better game plan.

Vimal Perera is a former Rugby Referee, coach and Accredited Referees Evaluator IRB

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