By Harsha Amarasinghe and Sandun Kodithuwakku
Isipathana College having got themselves off to a fine start against Science College, Mount Lavinia are eager to land triple titles this season.
Captain Manilka Ruberu who is leading Isipathana College for a second tenure expressed his desire to become a triple title winning captain – a feat which was last achieved by flanker Senal Deelaka back in 2014 under the guidance of Isipathana College’s current coach Ronnie Ibrahim’s brother – Nilfer.
“This is the second time I captain Isipathana. In 2018 we were fourth in the league, and this time I hope to do better and become triple champions,” Ruberu told Daily Mirror.
Ruberu having taken up kicking duties back in 2018 at a time, they were in real need of a place kicker has gone on to become one of the finest in the division. The dynamic centre claimed that the boys from the Havelock Town will take each and every team seriously this time around.
“Every team is very difficult and at this level you won’t get easy games so we will give them same focus and hard work against each and every opponent. First our target is to win the league and then the knockouts as well as the sevens. Hopefully, we could become unbeaten triple champions,” added Ruberu.
Meanwhile, Isipathana head coach Ronnie Ibrahim stated that having a big squad this time gives them an advantage.
“We have a squad about 35 to 40 – a very balanced squad and we have about 12 or 13 senior players which is great. It’s hard to say whether our strength is on the pack or the backline, but this is a very good balanced squad and hopefully we can go all the way,” Ibrahim told Daily Mirror.
Ibrahim also added that having Rizah Mubarak and Buddhika Thalagampola as his assistants would also benefit the team, given the experiences of the two former Sri Lanka players.
Daily Mirror Prediction:
Isipathana College probably has their strongest side since winning the double in 2016 under the captaincy of Kushan Indunil. Manilka Ruberu has carried this team on his shoulder for the last three years during a very tough time for the Green Machines, it’s time the players send him off on a high. They will surely be in the top five at the end of season, but can they really challenge teams like St. Peter’s and Royal for the title? That still remains to be seen.