Thomians whipped blue and black


Put me down! A Royal player is hoisted by a Thomian during their Battle of the Blues rugby game yesterday. Royal won by a record score of 38-3. Pic by Ishara S. Kodikkara.
Thomians whipped blue and black
Royal win Gunaratne Trophy by record margin
By Bernie Wijesekera

After a lukewarm first half leading by 11-3, the high riding Royal rugby team led by scrum half Zulky Hamid gave a scarlet red performance to outplay the young Thomian outfit to a record 38 pts. (a goal, five tries and two penalty goals) to 3 (a penalty goal) played before a big crowd at the Royal College Sports Complex grounds, yesterday.

Royal thus retain the Michael Gunaratne trophy. The Reid Avenue school's record score against their arch-rivals was in 1973 under Michael Muller, which team included C.P.P. Abeygunawardena, Ajith Pasqual, Ray de Silva, Dhammika Wedande etc. Last evening Hamid leading a seasoned team with 13 coloursmen erased it with Royal were leading 33-3, when fly half Ishan Perera, with seconds before the long whistle, zig-zagged his way over the line to create a record score: 38-3.

In the initial half Royal never played to their capabilities. The threes tended to go solo, at times selfish instead of moving the ball around. The only purple patch was when strongly built Lakshman Dissanayake made a superb sprint - a 40 yards run to touch down for an unconverted try. (Incidentally Lakshman, is the son of later Dr. Lakdasa an outstanding sportsman).

Royal opened scoring in the second minute with a penalty put over by fullback Charity Danawansa. Dhanawansa who constantly formed the overlap, had a good outing whilst putting over another penalty. He also scored a dandy try. In the second half Royal, took control with the entire back division running the ball against a hapless Thomian defence, who melted like ice under pressure.

The second try was by flanker Kushan Atukorale when he rolled over for an uncovered try. The mobile Royal pack rucked, mauled and powered their way to their opponents defence with Dushantha Lewke, the gangling no 8 making the breaks.

The third was try by Rakeem Barry, who did a 55 yard solo run when the Thomian defence lapsed. Dhanawansa added the extra points. The fourth was by centre Rajeeth Jayasundere, when he side stepped beautifully to cross over for an unconverted try. 28 - 3. The Thomian's solitary three points was a penalty for their sweating put over by Wasim Thajudeen. The lad, a nippy fly half, had a good game despite being under pressure with some long ranged kicks to touch. The fifth try was off a forwards rush. Prop Pujitha Jayakody barged over. which went unconverted.

Ref. Orville Fernando controlled the game. In the junior match Royal beat the Thomians by 17 points (a goal, two tries) to nil. The leader of the Opposition Mahinda Rajapakse was an avid fan watching his son Namal playing for the 'Blues.'

Hemaka for ICC meeting
Mr. Hemaka Amarasuriya, chairman of the Cricket Board's Interim Committee will leave for London tomorrow (June 24 ) for the International Cricket Committee's (ICC) meeting scheduled for June 26.

Mr. Amarasuriya, who is the chairman of Singer Sri Lanka (Pvt.) Ltd, was appointed by the Minister of Sports Mr. Johnston Fernando to replace Mr. Vijaya Malalasekera to administer the controversy-raged Cricket Board, apparently plagued with problems.

Earlier the Minister picked former President of the Cricket Board Mr. Thilanga Sumathipala as an alternative if Mr. Amarasuriya failed to make it to the annual general meeting, which will be chaired by its CEO Mr. Malcolm Speed.

However an earlier injunction taken out by Mr. Clifford Ratwatte against Mr. Sumathipala has, it is learnt, caused the Attorney General, to have advised against his representing the Interim Committee at the ICC at this point of time. An alternate legal opinion on the matter, was reportedly presented at the Interim Committee but after discussion it was unanimously agreed that the AG's view would have to prevail and Mr. Amarasuriya should attend the annual general meeting.

According to Amarasuriya, Anura Tennekoon CEO of the BCCSL will attend the cricket management meeting while Jayantha Kudahetty for the Marketing Management confab. Both have already left for London. (BW)

Missed penalty denies Kingswood victory
By M.Shamil Amit
A vital penalty gifted right opposite the post to Kingswood which was kicked astray by full back Eranda Wee-rakkody in the last minute of the game denied victory for them with the score reading 6-6 at this stage. This was the only scoring done in the first half. This game between Wesley and Kingswood which was played at Havelock Park was the first leg encounter for the L.E. Blaze Trophy and an inter-schools tour-nament match. The match ended in a 6 all draw.

It was a game of missed opportunities with both sides kicking the ball astray when a penalty was offered. In fact the match ended with penalties doing the scoring. Wesley opened scoring in the second minute of the game through a penalty put over by fly half Prasad Perera and three minutes later Kingswood equalled through full back Eranda Wee-rakkody.Two minutes later Eranda mistimed a penalty but made am-ends with a peach of a kick when he put over a drop kick to give Kingswood a 6-3 lead. With both sides playing defensive rugby as neither sides wanted to give in.

The Wesley forwards never gave out the ball which denied them of many scoring opp-ortunites. They were also depending on two or three players and playing without any set plan. In the 15th minute Wesley was offered a penalty for an infringment which was put over by Prasad who later missed another kick. Half time was blown with the score 6 all.

Resuming in the second half the Wesleyites continued kicking the ball astray this time by full Back Zakir Badurdeen. Eventually no scoring was done in this half with the kick which saved Wesley from defeat and denied the Kingswoodians of a sure win.

The return match between these two schools is fixed two weeks hence in Kandy. Kingswood backed by their partisan crowd will be favoured to win then. Referee: Mahinda Jayawardena.

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