By Harsha Amarasinghe
Trinity College were dealt a major injury blow as their in-form wing three quarter Naveen Rajaratnam was ruled out of the first leg of 74th Bradby encounter against Royal College scheduled to be played at Royal Complex on Friday.
Having already lost to St. Joseph’s College and Kingswood College, Trinity have virtually no chance of winning the Inter-School League Rugby Tournament which is why the Kandy side will be desperate to save their season by winning the Bradby.
Placed fourth in the current points table, Trinity trained the entire week under the guidance of assistant coach Buddhika Abeysinghe as the head coach Lote Raikabula had flown out of Sri Lanka to attend his father’s funeral.
The former All Black star however, is expected to join the squad hours before the kick-off.
Avishka Sheikh’s Trinitians will start off as clear underdogs in this fixture against a team that has been in sensational form from the start of the season.
Having beaten St. Joseph’s College a couple of weeks ago Royal College’s confidence must be sky high and yet they will take the field knowing that they will be dealing with another high quality team on Saturday.
The Reid Avenue boys have stuck to the same starting XV that defeated the Joes 18-13, but the head coach Dushantha Lewke has made some positional changes to the two try scorers from that game. Himantha Hirushan has been moved to number eight position while Ifham Fareed who played in the third row has been shifted into the front row to join Sasitha Siyath and Induwara Bimsara.
In the recent years the Bradby has been a battle of Royal forwards and Trinity backs, but this time around Royal back five have been outstanding. Captain Sabith Feroze along with the centre combination of Janidu Dilshan and Thulaib Hassen have performed brilliantly for the league leaders who have won four out of four leading up to the Bradby.
On the other hand, these are desperate times for Trinity, but desperate teams have often pulled off miracles and they would hope to get one over Royal today.