Extra edge to Trinity Antonian rugger match

Special Sports Correspondent in Kandy

One’s fervent hope is that the Big Match shenanigans will not recur when two beaten sides – Trinity and St. Anthony’s – take on each other today at Pallekele.

The Antonians have lost both games played so far, while the Trinitians have a won loss record. Ironically, both teams were defeated by Isipathana, 30-6 in the case of the Katugastota school, and 27-15 in the case of the Lions.

Rugby experts feel that the Antonian forwards (who are quite good) should combine more with the backs. More emphasis on organizing the defence would pay dividends. The players should endavour to score off every move. It appears that the seniors are not taking enough initiative. Skipper Mohammed Makarim and Coach Ronnie Ibrahim, in particular, have a few issues on their plate.

Even in defeat, the Trinity backs were impressive. Dropped passes when the goal-line was in sight, cost them dear. The Lions had some reasons to rue their performance against the Pathana lads. They were playing their hearts out and right on top at one stage when the interception (and consequent try) took the wind out of their sails.

In a nutshell, it could be said that Trinity was stronger than their opponents. Yet Isipathana were faster. Fly half Renuja de Silva and centre Manilka Ruberu had speed and thrust. Trinity Prop Minesh Ekanayake was good in defensive situations.  He also gained ground with his hits. Centre Kevin Karunanayake was excellent in defence, while winger Amith Kulatunga and flanker Dhiren Ratwatte enjoyed very satisfactory outings.

It will be recalled that last year, too, the Antonians had a horrible first round. But they regrouped well and had a good second round.

Reshan Bandaranaike’s Trinity team has some class and character. They should make it to the top four despite the loss to the Havelock Town lads & quite apart from the loss of morale. Trinity’s defeat will give their other opponents a sniff of a chance. This should be a close match. However, once feels that Trinity will come out on top.

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