Isipathana survive shocks from Zahira | Sunday Observer

Isipathana survive shocks from Zahira

Isipathana College centre Manelka Ruberu is tackled by an opponent from Zahira College in their inter school rugby match at Havelock Park yesterday (Pic by Saman Mendis)
Isipathana College centre Manelka Ruberu is tackled by an opponent from Zahira College in their inter school rugby match at Havelock Park yesterday (Pic by Saman Mendis)

Isipathana College were made to labour hard for their victory over a gallant Zahira College team by 17 points (2 tries, 2 conversions, a penalty) to 3 (a penalty) in an inter-school league rugby encounter played at Havelock Park yesterday.

The scores do not give the real picture of how the game progressed as Zahira made use of their forwards and hard tackling backs to keep Isipathana at bay most of the time.

Zahira enjoyed a major share of possession which they kept through their fierce and hard working forwards. They rattled the Isipathana forwards and the penetrative back division through their close and effective tackles.

It took as long as 16 minutes before Isipathana managed to score when they won a scrum and on working the backs had winger Rameetha de Silva slice through to score.

Taking the kick from a difficult angle Manelka Ruberu did well to add the extra points.

Even after that, play was maintained midfield with either side playing with more purpose and determination. Zahira’s forwards maintained the pressure on Isipathana who made many handling errors that left them giving away possession.

Though Zahira failed to cross the Isipathana goal line even after going very near they were sent back by the stubborn defence put up by Isipathana forwards. Even the set pieces saw Zahira forwards use their weight and pushed the Isipathana forwards behind. Zahira’s performance surprised most of their supporters.

Zahira got their chance to get some points on the board when the Isipathana defence was caught advancing early and conceded a penalty. SA Salam took the kick at goal from an easy range and succeeded.

Isipathana took the lead 7-3 at half time.

Both teams continued to play hard rugby in the second half too with Isipathana using their skills to good effect to run the ball at every given opportunity.

Isipathana got a chance to increase on the lead when Zahira were falling over in the loose. Ruberu took the kick at goal from 27 metres out and added another three points from the penalty.

Isipathana three quarters continued to send the ball down the line but came up against some close tackling by Zahira.

Ruberu failed with two more attempts with penalties from more than 35 metres out.

It was towards the end of play that Isipathana kept opening out the game and one such move after winning a loose maul made replacement winger ML Riyaz go over to score by the corner flag.

Ruberu did well with the conversion from an acute angle and finished the game 17-3.

Dinka Peiris refereed.

 

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