Royal - Isipathana match ends in chaos
An intense and a chaos situation prevailed at the Royal-Isipathana
school under-20 rugby match when the Principal of Royal College Upali
Gunasekera had to bring the match to an abrupt halt after twenty minutes
of play in the second half when the scores were level 20-20 and awarded
the Milroy Fernando Memorial Trophy to Isipathana.
An Isipathana player makes a break hotly pursued by Royal's
Asman Khan and Dineth Karunaratne in there Singer league
under 20 rugby match played at Royal Sport Complex which
ended abruptly after 20 minutes of the second half Pic :
The reason for the stoppage of the match was due to the safety of
players. It is reliably understood that three Royal players flanker
Keshan Pieris, flanker Manusha Athukorale and Thivanka Perera were
rushed to Accident Service for treatment after receiving punches from
The final tally was 27 points (three goals, one drop gaol and a
penalty) to 20 (two goals, two penalties) after the Royal team walked
off the field.
In a match that swung from side to side Isipathana scored twice in
the first half and led 14-0 through two goals - a try each from Umalka
Gunaratne and Uditha Prematileka to which Hirantha Perera added the
extra points. Then Royal reduced the lead when hooker Shuaib Jabbar
scored off a line out and Ramzi Jamaldeen giving them the extra points.
There after Hirantha Perera for Isipathana and Jamlaldeen for Royal put
over penalties to give Isipathana a 17-10 lead at the breather.
It was a battle between the Royal forwards and the Isipathana line
through out the game and soon after resumption the Royalists were
awarded a penalty which Rimzie Jamladeen put over in style which helped
the home team reduce the deficit 13-17.
Royal took one step ahead in the sixteenth minute of the second half
when hooker Shuaib Jabbar scored his second try off a line out close to
the their opponents territory, Jamaldeens fine kicking gave them the
extra points. Royal took the lead 20/17. Referee Pradeep Fernando was
under severe pressure as their were foul cries from the crowd and the
players for being lenient. He hesitated to produce any type of card from
his pack as some of the Royal players were seen assaulted openly and
three ending up in hospital.
With Royal leading 20-17 and half of the second playing session
remaining Isipathana trying desperately to forge ahead saw Hirantha
Perera dropping a peach of a kick to be on par with the Royalist 20-20.
Then all hell broke soon after the drop goal when an Isipathana player
punched a Royal player which was not noticed by the referee or linesmen
which resulted in Royal’s coach Bilal Yusuf taking the players off the
field in the twentieth minute of the second half.
With only the Isipathana players on the field Hirantha Perera took
the kick off collected the ball on the follow through and scored under
the post and converted himself to make the score 27-20. After sometime
the Royal Principal Upali Gunasekera made a public announcement that
Royal will not continue the match for the safety of the players and
awarded the trophy to Isipathana.
Referee: Pradeep Fernando.