The outcome of the match may be a foregone conclusion to the experts but Science College will mark its biggest day in rugby so far when they take on Isipathana College in the final of the Milo Knock-Out rugby tournament on Sunday at the Royal Complex ground in Colombo.
Isipathana are the Milo tournament’s defending champions while Science, under their new coach ex-Peterite Colin Denish, contest a final for the first time since they were promoted to ‘A’ division rugby 15 years ago.
Both teams will be at full strength, but Isipathana are considered the undisputed favourites after ending runners-up in the League while they also possess a harder and faster set of players which is tailor-made to counter the brand of rugby played by Science College.
Isipathana unlike Science also played against a competitive Trinity College in the semi-finals while Science had virtually a cake-walk into the final after meeting a Royal College team that rested nine champion players which won the League.
It only makes the stage for Isipathana to sign off on a high and overcome the hiccups of losing to Royal in the deciding League game at the same venue last month.
When the two teams met in the League, Isipathana won 49-27 in a lackluster game of rugby while Science College’s best effort for the season was never enough to subdue their rivals.
But more than a month down the line Science College have improved in their style of play where both their forwards as well as their backs are better organized to contest a final.
Where Science College may lose could be in having to counter a physically stronger Isipathana pack which appeared to have regrouped for the best after going down tamely to Royal College in the League decider.
If Science College are to make headway in the match they will have to overcome their biggest threat in the forwards that of opposing Number Eight Omalka Gunaratne who will make his farewell appearance for his school.
Isipathana College: Sachin Alawathugoda, Nisal Desaka, Lahiru Perera, Chathura Dilshan, Matheesha Sarathchandra, Dilan Devinda, Wageesha Weerasinghe, Omalka Gunaratne, Harsha Maduranga, Isuru Kongahawatta, Asitha Punchihewa, Ushan Indunil, Sumudu Anuradha, Dilan Gallage, Rehan de Silva.
Science College: Charith Janitha, Dulsara Prabu, Viranga Kavinda, Madushan Ayeshmantha, Daminda Lakshitha, Janith Laksara, Udesh Madushanka, Lasindu Karunatilleke, Hashan Madumadawa, Nishad Niranjan, Tharindu Maduranga, Niror Udayanga, Thanuja Maduranga, Sajith Roshan, Supun Dilshan.