Royal College managed to keep their unbeaten record intact with a thrilling 18-17 victory over Wesley College in their Inter-Schools Under-19 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament Cup Segment fixture worked off at Longden Place on Saturday (19).
In a game which was marred with spectator invasion and crowd violence, Royal survived a fierce onslaught from their opponents to emerge victorious while scoring one goal, one try and two penalties.
The Wesleyites certainly produced their best effort for the current season but yet they ended up in the losing side after having responded with two goals and one penalty.
Even then, the ugly scenes which occurred soon after the final whistle took most of the glamour out of this exciting contest as the match had all the ingredients of a real blockbuster.
In fact, the game was interrupted for nearly 10 minutes in the second half when Royal were leading 18-17 as the match officials were not fully satisfied about the player safety.
Royal who went into the second half under tremendous pressure took the lead following a crucial penalty from full back DulanGunawardena in the 43rd minute.
Incidentally, it was Gunawardena who put Royal in front when he fired across a 25 metre penalty in the fifth minute of play.
However, full back M. N. Zubair provided the equaliser for Wesley when he was on target with a 25 metre penalty in the 10th minute of play.
Royal scored their first try in the 13th minute when prop forward SasithaSiyath barged over before falling over almost under the post after they had taken a quick tap from five metres out.
Gunawardena added the extra points and Royal had extended the lead to 10-3 at that stage.
But Wesley came back into the game once again with dashing wing three quarter M. Paranthiran producing probably the best try of the match with a dazzling 25 metre dash to touch down under the post.
Zubair added the extra points to make it 10 all at that stage.
Wesley, inspired with this success went on to take the lead for the first time in the match when winger K. P. Perera sliced through the Royal defence to score under the post.
Zubair made no mistake with the conversion and Wesley led 17-10 at that stage.
Few minutes later Royal scored their second try when dynamic number eight HimanthaHirushan fell over for a push over try.
Gunawardena missed the conversion but Royal had reduced the deficit to 15-17.