The Sunday Leader

Kandy Schools Make Waves In New Schools Rugby Season

By Hafiz Marikar

The Inter School Rugby League tournament which is one of the most looked forward to events in the country commenced on the 11th March 2013 and will run for the next four months.

This season promises to be one of the most exciting of recent times as we have already witnessed quite a few upsets within the first month itself.  In Kandy rugby has played a large part in the life of people, and schools rugby is now particularly in Kandy the number one glamour sport.  Its popularity is such that crowds of anything from five to ten thousand are almost common place at most of the matches.

Last season, Trinity were placed number two in the league, while Dharmaraja College won the Schools 7’s tournament and the “B” Division title.

The Kandy schools have over the years been consistent and remained in the Schools Association Division one. In this year’s league too Trinity, St. Anthony’s, Kingswood and Dharmarajaare all in the ‘A’ Division which augurs well for the sport in Kandy.

Trinity College

The oldest rugby playing school in the country first took  to the game in 1906 and rugby is the most popular sport at Trinity.  They are one of the schools who have provided the national team with most number of ruggerites. The most looked forward rugby game of the season is against Royal College for the prestigious “Bradby Shield”.   TheBradby Shield was introduced in 1945 and is considered the blue ribband of schools rugby.  This was the first school game to be played for a trophy, in recent times there are number of trophies have been presented for a number of big matches.
Trinity this year is   led by utility player HaliqueWadood who was awarded his Rugby Lion for his brilliant performance in 2012,  andhe has ShahimSingalaxana as his  Vice Captain
Trinity  commenced the season  against Dharmaraja an improved team  which ended in a draw, then in the second encounter they beat Science College and followed it up with a good win against Kingswood.

St. Anthony’s College

Having taken to the game only in the mid 1950’s  the Anthonians have today come a long way in the game of Rugby, and has been holding its own against the leading schools that took to the game long before the Katugastota school.
This season they lost their opening two games against St. Peters and  Wesley but then were able to upset the strong Isipathana team who are the defending champions.

Dharmaraja College

One of the most promising outfits among the schools scene last year.The history of rugger at Dharmaraja is necessarily short since the game on an organized footing commenced only in 1972.  Their last year’s season was most memorable having won the schools rugby sevens for the first time and also was on top of the schools “B” Division which earned them promotion to the top tier.
Their first game was against Trinity College which ended in a draw after an exciting game where Dharmaraja was leading until injury time. In their second outing  theybeat Isipathana and then followed that up with another good win against Science College.

Kingswood College

The school was established in the year 1891 named as  “Boys High School”. Later the school became the first school to play rugger in Sri Lanka.
The team has played three games to date and have lost all three – against St. Josephs, Royal and Trinity but they will take heart from the strong displays they put up in all three games and it is only a matter of time before they start to win games.

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