Royal leave Isipathana in pieces | Sunday Observer

Royal leave Isipathana in pieces

13 August, 2023
Royal College flanker Yovindu Ethugala breaks through the Isipathana College defence (Pix by Sudath Nishantha)
Royal College flanker Yovindu Ethugala breaks through the Isipathana College defence (Pix by Sudath Nishantha)

Royal College broke Isipathana College’s feared backline and almost crippled it with some bone crunching tackles as the defending champions crashed to their first defeat of the season in their Dialog inter school league rugby match at the Royal Complex ground at Reid Avenue yesterday.

Royal won 22-17 after a 6-3 half time lead and were all over Isipathana whose substandard ball handling also did not help their cause in the second half.

Royal scored one try and thanks to winger Nabeel Yehiya’s fantastic kicking of five penalties and a conversion kept his team ahead of Isipathana who scored their points from a penalty try that brought them seven points along with a try and a penalty.

Royal playing to an attacking game-plan from the first whistle took control of the encounter from the start.

However, both teams played scrappy rugby at stages as the game progressed towards a thrilling end. Though Isipathana made headway to a limited extent with their backs they lost the ball more often than the Royalists.

Royal opened scoring through winger Nabeel Yehiya converting a penalty and winger Rishen Silva found a perfect way to open scoring for Isipathana which equalled the score 3-3.

But Royal went ahead through a second Yehiya penalty to take a 6-3 half time lead.

The home team came back strongly after the resumption and applied pressure and in the 41st minute Royal fly-half Thiven Perera crashed through for a brilliant try to give Royal a 13-3 lead with Yehiya making the conversion.

Five minutes later Yehiya slotted in another penalty to give Royal a 16-3 lead.

In the 51st minute Isipathana scored through their speedy winger Rinesh Silva under the post which he himself converted and Isipathana reduced the lead to 16-10.

But Yehiya put the game to bed when he fired across two consecutive penalties in the 56th and 67th minutes to increase the score to 22 against Isipathana’s 10.

In the 67th minute Isipathana experienced success when they scored through a penalty try to close the gap 22-17 which was the final score.

Referee Gihan Yatawara