Published: 08 April 2013
The Lions of the Hill-Capital once again re-lived to the term heirs of the Hill Country as they went on to beat traditional rivals, Kingswood in their Singer A Division League encounter 38-24 played at the Pallekelle Stadium this evening.
It was the mis-match in the rugby arena today where the oldest rugby fixture in the island came alive once again in the hills of Kandy where the hometown rivals Trinity College Kandy and Kingswood College fielded in to settle issues. The fixture which saw birth in the year 1906 which is also holds the distinction of being the start of school rugby in Sri Lanka, brought in the enthusiastic rugby fraternity to Pallekelle
Starting off proceedings for the day, it was the home team who were able to draw first blood. Flyhalf Tarinda Ratwatte successfully kicked an easy penalty to give the Lions an early lead. Set-pieces always has played key for the Lions and this time too their utility came in handy when Tarinda Ratwatte crossed for the first of the lions. The try went unconverted but extended the lead.
Their lead of eight points was short lived when just as play restarted the Kings replied the Lions stand in class with a resounding forward move. Their efforts bore fruit when they crossed over for the first try. Though the conversion didn’t go through, that was sufficient for celebration. In the 25th minute of play, Kingswoodian skipper Asela Wijesinghe kicked the equalizer penalty to level scores 8 all. It was a battle of the stand-off’s with Ratwatte replying with his boot to restore lead to 11-8.
Looking for an opportunity to go fourth, the Maroon scrum half got his chance when he spotted the loose ends of the Trinity line when he took the quick tap and cruised to the try line in style. With the conversion through, the Kingswoodian outfit seemed to be relaxed as minutes were fading away for lemons. Just minutes before the call for half time, Ratwatte was able to boot in another penalty to reduce the deficit to just one point.
At lemons scores stood 15-14 in favor of Kingswood
With the game beautifully poised, the next forty minutes was what everyone was looking forward to. Kingswood started business in style as they kicked another penalty successfully to extend the lead to 18. Till the middle stages of the second half, we saw no proper team outclassing the other, but with 20 minutes elapsed it was the lions who hit the pedal on the gas with the intentions of sealing the game. The boisterous Karunathileke stormed in to the Kingswoodian defense and having numbers on his side with some quick passes it was Wing three Dureka Aluwihare who scored in the outer wing.
Kingswood’s replies came only in the form of penalty kicks which was not at all adequate to stop the uprising in the second half. Wijesinghe kicked another to take a two point lead over their counterparts 19-21 but just after the restart, Basu Karunathilake who took the quick tap bulged through the defence allowing Umesh Samarasekara to score. With the conversion through it took the Lions to 28.
The next extension portrayed Trinity’s forward mauling. Their opponents fitness was put on test in the closing stages as they strived hard to counter their opponents. Credit should go to the Kingswoodian flyhalf and his centers who did a tremendous job to uphold the Trinity pack. Trinity sealed victory when they scored through a rumbling maul in the outer flag where NO8 Ashan Perera placed the ball with ease.
With Trinity sealing the result for the day, the Dynamo Wadood stepped through the Kingswoodian line just as he did last season for a complimentary try. Play ended 38-21 with a resounding victory for the Lions.
The Kingswoodians always opted to go for the 3 points at all instances while the 21 points consisted of only two tries. Trinity College on the other hand excelled in all forms of the game by the end of the second half of play. Trinity continue to hold their unbeaten tag while the Schools Rugby format takes a break for the new year.
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