Royal College and Isipathana College will revive their rivalry once again when the two teams clash in the 2022 Inter-Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament deciding Super Round encounter at Havelock Park on Sunday.
After seven weeks of exciting rugby, Royal and Isipathana have fought their way and set the stage for a massive showdown with the winners to be crowned as the league champions and will also receive the Major Milroy Fernando Memorial Trophy.
In fact, the defending champions Royal are chasing a unique fourth successive ‘A’ Division League title while the unbeaten Isipathana are hoping to lift the title after their success in the 2016 season.
Last week, both teams cleared their initial hurdle in the Super Round stage with Royal going past Wesley College 21-16 at Longden Place and Isipathana edged out St. Joseph’s College 16-13 at Havelock Park.
As a result, Isipathana are still on top of the points table with a tally of 32 from six matches while Royal will start the game trailing with a total of 28 points from the same number of outings.
With a good four-point lead, there is a chance for Isipathana to win the title even if they are beaten but if they could collect the two-losing bonus-points, while also ensuring Royal doesn’t win with a bonus-point.
Even then, for Royal, if they score four tries and register a victory, then they will be crowned league champions irrespective of Isipathana claiming both their losing bonus-points.
However, Isipathana will have the home advantage and will look to keep the momentum with their mobile set of forwards and speedy back division. Hooker Venura Sangeeth, number eight Daham Wickremarachchi and flanker
Tharindu Wewalpandith have been outstanding throughout the season while winger Rinesh Silva’s accurate kicks at goal will be another advantage for Isipathana.
Meanwhile, Royal will look to exploit the opposition through their famous rolling maul and in the back division they will bank on dashing center Kaveen Sasanga, who has five tries to his credit, scrum half Hasnaka Higgoda, fly half Thivain Perera and full back Nabeel Yahiya to deliver the goods.
Past winners of the Under-20 Rugby League:
1973 (Royal), 1974 (Trinity), 1975 (Trinity), 1976 (Royal/S. Thomas’), 1977 (Trinity), 1978 (Royal), 1979 (Royal), 1980 (S. Thomas’), 1981 ( Royal), 1982 (S. Thomas’), 1983 (Trinity), 1984 (Royal/Isipathana), 1985 (Isipathana), 1986 (Isipathana), 1987 (Trinity), 1988 (Royal), 1989 (S. Thomas’) , 1990 (S. Thomas’), 1991 (S. Thomas’), 1992 (Isipathana), 1993 (Isipathana), 1994 (Royal), 1995 (Isipathana), 1996 (Isipathana), 1997 (Isipathana), 1998 (Royal ), 1999 (Isipathana), 2000 (S. Thomas’), 2001 (St. Anthony’s), 2002 (St. Peter’s), 2003 (Royal), 2004 (Kingswood), 2005 (Kingswood), 2006 (St. Peter’s) , 2007 (St. Peter’s), 2008 (Kingswood), 2009 (Royal), 2010 (St. Peter’s), 2011 (Royal), 2012 (Isipathana), 2013 (Dharmaraja), 2014 (Isipathana), 2015 (Royal), 2016 (Isipathana), 2017 (Royal), 2018 (Royal), 2019 (Royal), 2020 (Not held), 2021 (Not held).