The Havelock Town school states that the success of winning the league championship will not be complete without bagging the knockout
Isipathana College will leave no stone unturned when they commence pursuing their final goal for the season which is to win the Milo Schools President’s Trophy Knockout Tournament.
Captain of the Isipathana College First XV team Kushan Indunil said that he wouldn’t undermine any team in the knockout and added, “I say this because there are so many teams unknown to us”. Indunil said the fact that Isipathana failing to win the knockout title last year worried his team a great deal. “The success of winning the league tournament will not be complete if we don’t win the knockout,” said Indunil whose team beat S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia 28-24 in the league decider a few days ago.
Indunil praised the school’s coaches Nilfer Ibrahim and Henry Terrence, fitness trainer Dayan and the old boys for the inputs made to the rugby team. “We have never allowed these successes go to our heads. We have our methods of checking the boys to ensure they don’t get complacent,” said Indunil who added that the Isipathana rugby team is one big family.
The official launch of the Milo Schools President’s Trophy Knockout Tournament was held on June 23 at JAIC Hilton Residencies in Colombo where Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Union President B.A. Abeyratne said that he expected all teams to play fair. The line-up of teams comprises Isipathana College, D.S. Senanayake College, St. Peter’s College, St. Anthony’s College, Royal College, Wesley College, S. Thomas’ College and Zahira College.
The runner-up team in the Plate competition of the league tournament Zahira College gained entry into the knockout tournament after winners St. Joseph’s College Maradana made themselves unavailable for the knockout. The other teams to pullout of the knockout are Trinity and Science College Mount Lavinia. Zahira College coach Shamly Nawaz said that his team trained with the expectations of seeking elevation to A Division and said, “Well, it has happened a little too early for the boys. The knockout is happening during a religious festival, but we have remodelled our training to suit the players who are fasting. S. Thomas’ is a strong team, but Zahira will play the game in a manner where we’ll match up to our opponents,” said Nawaz.
League Rugby Tournament runners-up S. Thomas’ College is a team that can beat any opponent on their day. However, coach Tulagaese Tavita is a disappointed man after losing the league championship decider against Isipathana. “The boys didn’t play too well against Isipathana. But we plan to finish the season on a high note by winning the knockout,” said coach Tavita. The tournament is conducted by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Union and sponsored by Nestle Lanka PLC (Milo).
Meanwhile the SLSRFA revealed that Isipathana College had qualified for the semi-finals due to D.S Senanayake College pulling out of the tournament at the last minute.
The quarter-final line-up
June 25 (Isipathana vs D.S. Senanayake)
June 26 (St. Peter’s vs St. Anthony’s)
June 27 (Royal vs Wesley)
June 28 (S.Thomas’ vs Zahira)
*All quarter-final matches will be played at Royal Sports Complex