By Chris Dhambarage
Royal College will be looking to add the finishing touches to a marvellous Inter-Schools rugby season when they take on the traditional rivals Trinity College in the second-leg of the 73rd Bradby Shield encounter at the Royal Sports Complex in Colombo on Saturday (3).
The newly crowned Singer Inter-Schools Under-20 League Tournament champions will take the field brimming with confidence after their heroics in the first-leg of the Bradby Shield worked off at Pallakele two weeks ago.
Royal came out with a magnificent performance to beat Trinity 22-17 in the deciding league tournament fixture and will have a five point advantage going into Saturday’s second-leg encounter.
No doubt Royal considering their present form will start favourites to win the game and they will look to continue from where they left at Pallekele two weeks ago.
In contrast Trinity will be hoping to bounce back into recognition with an improved performance as they look for a huge turnaround to beat their traditional rivals.
The odds will be heavily against Trinity as very few teams have lost the first-leg and bounced back to win the Bradby Shield.
Trinity of course did not play to their potential in the first-leg and this time they will need to get their act together well if they are to win the Bradby Shield.
Trinity’s first hurdle will be to wipe out the five point deficit as soon as possible and then try to add pressure on their opponents which will be the ideal game plan which they will be hoping to execute.
Even then, Royal have been playing some smart rugby for the past few weeks and they are quite aware what is required from them to pull off this important encounter.
They have made a habit of playing to their strength throughout the season and they will certainly continue to pound on the opposition with their heavy set of forwards who had an excellent game at Pallekele as well.
Trinity of course may have learnt from their mistakes in the first-leg and will look to come out with a different game plan to overcome their rivals.
No doubt they possess a heavy set of forwards but they will need to play a more territorial game in the line outs and set pieces if they are to make any headway in the game.
In the first-leg Trinity simply threw away some vital possession with a series of aimless kicking and this will be one area where they will need to concentrate and work for their advantage.
In contrast Royal seems to have the best player for the correct job and they have always rallied around through their seniors with Hamza Reeza leading from the front.
The dynamic hooker has turned out to be a revelation for Royal this season with a total of 14 tries to his credit and still looking to increase that tally.
In addition, Royal have some talented players in their ranks with Janidu Dilshan, Sabith Feroze, Thulaib Hassen, Ashen Fernando and Pasindu Fernando all capable of making an impact given the opportunity.
Trinity’s forte has been their speedy three quarters throughout the season but still they face another tough challenge to clear the odds and emerge victorious.