By Callistus Davy
A 10-minute surgical-like burst from a rejuvenated Isipathana College backline was all what they needed to crack and smash a lacklustre Trinity College team 37-28 and book a place in the Milo Knock-Out rugby championship final when the two schools clashed in a semi final at the Royal Sports Complex ground in Colombo on Sunday.
Isipathana dealt the decisive blows midway in the first half as their backs capitalizing on a disorganized Trinity defence crossed the line thrice from three-quarter moves as they took an assuring 27-14 lead at half time.
Trinity’s backs were first caught on the wrong foot when Isipathana decided to run the ball after their forwards were stalled at several driving moves feet away from touchdown.
The final scoreline though may not project Isipathana’s dominance of the match as Trinity unbecoming of their reputation for the basics in rugby made as many as 14 ball-handling errors to go with an equal number of penalties conceded that only cost them valuable ground.
With such a wretched show by Trinity there was no way Isipathana could have lost the match or even had their lead threatened at any stage save one occasion early in the contest when the Kandy school took an 11-8 lead.
The closest that Trinity may have come to giving a small band of their supporters some hope was when their Number Eight Isuru Rangala barged through to score off a penalty that made the scores 27-21 after the try was converted.
But within minutes Rangala’s Isipathana counterpart Omalka Gunaratne did the same for an easy conversion to his try making the scores 34-21 that was stretched further to 37-21 when fly half Isuru Kohongawatte put over a penalty to take his points contribution in the match to 12.
Isipathana’s backs were so reassuring that each time they swung into action a try was not impossible as the Trinity defence was often slow to counter the moves while they also left several gaps unmanned.
Trinity had just a consolation try come their way when in the dying moments of the game their forwards managed to cross the line while some of their supporters vented their outrage on referee Irshad Cader who was heckled and jeered after the match as well as during the contest.