Historic 4-in-a-row for Royal
By Aubrey Kuruppu
Royal 10, Trinity 0
Royal produced a performance that was flat and devoid of too much fizz as they retained the Bradby Shield for another year by beating Trinity by 10 points (2 tries) to nil at a packed Bogambara Stadium last evening. This win coming on top of a 41-6 annihilation in Colombo means that Royal has cut another niche in the annals of Bradby history by making it four-in-a-row.

Moral triumphs do not go down in record books but Trinity can put themselves on the back for having achieved just that. Few gave them a chance but they did well to hold their worthy opponents to a scoreless first half and finally to limit them to just two scoring efforts.

Trinity attacked from the start in an obvious attempt to unsettle Royal. They forced a five-yard scrum but the defence held, even as it did throughout the game. Around eight minutes this half, Royal began to be more assertive. Bahudeen broke through in the middle and started a threatningly move. The ascendancy continued and Rajitha Jayasundara was almost over the line by the right corner flag.

Trinity stormed back into the Royal quarter for the last ten minutes of the first half. Try as they did to breakthrough, the Royalists showed no chink in their defensive armour. Fly half and first centre (Ranatunga and Jayasena) made determined efforts to pierce the defence but were stalled by the resolute Royalists. This performance in the opening half was a tremendous turn around from Trinity's efforts, a fortnight back. Gone was the uncertainity, the inability to think on their feet. There was even the touch of arrogance that was the hall mark of the best Trinity teams of the last two or three decades.

After what seemed an eternity of labour, Royal produced a mouse of a try ten minutes into the second half. The Trinity pack was pushed back over the line and lock Dhanushka Rajapakse touched down (5-0). A little later Trinity was pushed back around 20 yards and over their goal line, in fact, however Royal could not capitalise.

At this stage Trinity was playing on sheer guts and determination. As for Royal, the killer-instinct was somehow missing. In a flash Royal's back division seized on the opportunity, Rajitha Jayasundara picked up the ball and passed through to winger and skipper Lakshman Dissanayake who powered his way to score by the right corner flag. Bahudeen's attempt at converting was once again awry.

The intensity of Trinity's effort could be gauged from the fact that two of their players were sin binned for rough play. Royal's victory cheers were perfunctory at the end of the game.

This points to the fact that they had let themselves down to a certain extent, while their defence was very solid indeed, their attacking ploys were stereo-typed and Trinity were able to contain the dangerous three-quarters. Jayasundara was quick off the mark and intensity personified in what he did. But he came a cropper against Trinity's close marking.

Mohan Sahayam, one of Trinity's all time rugby greats, was the chief guest and gave away the shield to the Royal captain Lakshman Dissanayake.

Referee - Orville Fernando.
Results: Under 11 - Trinity won 14-0. Referee: Anil Jayasinghe.
Under 13: Royal 14, Trinity 7
Under 15: Trinity 10 Royal 0.
Under 17: Trinity 10. Royal 10.


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