Unbeaten Isipathana emerge Knock-Out rugby champions | Daily News

Unbeaten Isipathana emerge Knock-Out rugby champions

Action from the match between Isipathana and St. Joseph’s  (Pic by Wasitha Patabendige)
Action from the match between Isipathana and St. Joseph’s (Pic by Wasitha Patabendige)

Unbeaten Isipathana College completed a grand rugby double when they defeated St. Joseph’s College 49-22 in the 2022 President’s Trophy Under-20 Knock-Out Tournament final played at Havelock Park yesterday.

The ‘A’ Division League champions lived up to expectations as the favourites by dominating this high-scoring final with four goals, three tries and two penalties after having taken a commanding 27-0 lead at half time.

The ‘A’ Division League runners-up St. Joseph’s were always up against it despite a good second half performance as they finished with two goals, one try and one penalty.

In fact, Isipathana’s brilliant first-half performance entirely blew the Josephian defence with three tries coming in the first 30 minutes of play.

After Malith Boteju had opened the scoring with a 25-metre penalty, Kenula Mihisara added the finishing touches to a superb three-quarter move with the Television Match Official (TMO) confirming the try.

Few minutes later fly half Naveen Kanishka sliced through the St. Joseph’s defence to fall over under the post with the TMO once again confirming that the player had properly grounded the ball.

Boteju converted both tries and later put over his second penalty of the match to give Isipathana a 20-0 lead after 29 minutes.

Isipathana then worked their three-quarters from their own territory and after gaining good ground hooker Venura Kodagoda touched down for a superb try on the stroke of half time.

After the turnaround, St. Joseph’s stormed back into the game with a brace of tries from their dynamic number eight Naveen Marasinghe and flanker Sachinthana Waidyanada as they reduced the margin to eight points midway in the second half.

But when the game was about to slip away from their hands, Isipathana struck back like a true champion side and added four more tries during the last 10 minute of play to complete a memorable victory.

Isipathana gave a fine exhibition of some splendid running rugby as centre Praveen Stephan powered his way to score following a beautiful three-quarter move.

The Isipathana forwards were equally brilliant as they launched some terrific counterattacks and flanker Soorya Dodangoda also put his name in the scoresheet by falling over from a five-metre scrum.

Scrum half Shehandu de Costa added more misery for St. Joseph’s with a nice blind side try and flanker Wewala Pandith scored the last try for Isipathana in the dying moments of the game.

Full back Rinesh Silva had the chance to take Isipathana beyond the 50-point mark, but he missed the last conversion.


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