Isipathana cruise to President’s Trophy final | Daily News

Isipathana cruise to President’s Trophy final

Action from the match between Isipathana and S. Thomas’ (Pic by Rukmal Gamage)
Action from the match between Isipathana and S. Thomas’ (Pic by Rukmal Gamage)

Isipathana College powered their way into the President’s Trophy Knock-Out Inter-Schools Under-20 Rugby Tournament final with a smashing 29-13 victory over S. Thomas’ College in the first semi-final encounter played at Havelock Park yesterday.

The newly crowned ‘A’ Division League winners played like a true champion side and went on to reach the final for the 14th time while collecting their points from three goals, one try and one penalty, thus extending their unbeaten streak to nine matches this season.

The Thomians, of course conceded only a solitary try to their opponents in the second half after trailing 6-22 at half time but they never looked like getting closer to the Isipathana score and they eventually ended with one goal and two penalties.

In fact, S. Thomas’ showed early promise and were able to draw first blood when their reliable place-kicker Yehan Bulathsinhalage fired across a 25-metre penalty in the 11th minute of play.

However, Isipathana soon cut the deficit when their dashing centre three quarter Chamindu Chirath added the finishing touches to a magnificent three-quarter move, after the back division had worked on almost seven to eight phases.

Malith Mihisara missed the conversion, but Isipathana further extended the lead to 8-3 mid-way in the first half with a superb 40-metre penalty from Rinesh Silva after the Thomians were penalised for a high-tackle. Thereafter, it was all Isipathana as they dished out some marvellous running rugby to mesmerise their opponents with two splendid tries to put the issue beyond doubt.

Fly half Rinesh Silva produced a piece of individual brilliance to pounce on the loose ball and touch down under the post after the Thomian three quarters had fumbled during a counterattack.

Flanker Sooriya Dodangoda then brushed aside a couple of defenders to fall over with a determined effort after the Isipathana backs had gained good ground through some outstanding recycling work.

Mihisara made no mistake with both conversions and in between those two tries S. Thomas’ were able to add three more points through Bulathsinhalage.

Shortly after the turnaround, Isipathana scored their fourth try to virtually book their place in the final when acting Skipper Praveen Stefan sliced through the Thomian defence after receiving a good pass from Naveen Kanishka.

Isipathana then brought in all their replacements during the latter stages of the game and S. Thomas’ managed to score a consolation try through their substitute prop forward Hakeem in the 60th minute.

Bulathsinhalage added the extra points to reduce the margin to 13-29 at that stage.

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