• 66th Bradby Shield
By Hafiz Marikar
In the second leg of the Bradby Shield game in Kandy, Trinity suffered from stage fright. The game between Trinity and Royal at Bogambara Stadium was one of the best games for the Royalists this season. From the word go, the Royal boys went at it like men possessed. It was indeed a rousing game of rugby for the Royal boys. It left the large crowd very satisfied with the fare that was dished out. It is not winning or losing that matters, but how one played the game… This is just what Duminda Attygallle and his 14 Royalists proved in the second leg of the 66th Bradby Shield encounter last Saturday.
All rugby fans walked to the Bogambara Stadium expecting a Trinity victory, but in the end it was Royal that won. In this game, Trinity took the field as firm favorites. They were down by one point (37-38) after the first leg. They were well-oiled and had a heavier pack and their back line was talented. But it was Royal’s great tackling and the well judged kicks which brought them this great win.
The Reid Avenue boys took the field with a will to win, though the opponents were stronger in their home den. But from the first whistle, Royal began attacking and had Trinity pinned to their own territory. They completely dominated play in the first 20 minutes.
What went wrong for the Trinitians who were leading 17-13 at half time? They had to force their Skipper Dissanayake to take the bench at the end of the first half due to an injury and Deputy Skipper Shannon Armstrong who is a fine player had to lead the side. Trinity got several penalty kicks; even to decide on a penalty there were too many ‘cooks’.
The very large gathering present, were tense for the major portion of the game; in a game where Royal dominated play. In the first part, Trinity enjoyed dominance and in the second half nearly two thirds of it went to Royal. In the last quarter of the first half Trinity attacked vigorously and had several chances of scoring but their ‘threes’ tried to make solo efforts which prevented them from scoring. This made the game a most exciting one for the Royal supporters and an anxious one for those who backed Trinity.
On the run of play, Royal certainly deserved to win. They did everything a little better than the opponents. Trinity shouldn’t have made so many mistakes, I say that at no stage of the game did the Trinitians look dangerous. It was Royal scrum half Cassim Deen who changed the game plan. For Trinity, full back Kanchana Ramanayake’s kicks to touch was good; winger Akila Dissanayake, made many an attempt and scored twice. Rehan Weerakoon at stand-off from whom I have seen good moves, seldom did anything right. He was in defensive mode all the time, either running right across the field to elude would–be tackles or, he would have sent his powerful three-quarters moving. Trinity started to lose the game up front, in the line outs and in loose play, Royal dominated. Both teams shared the scrummages.
It was again the Royal forwards who fashioned their victory with intelligent play. It seemed like Royal forwards had reserved their best effort for this game. Royal’s number eight, Shehan Pathirane, a loose forward who enjoyed a good game, was in full command which the Trinitians were lacking. The forwards had a great game, particularly Pathirane, Adhil Jabbar, Thilanka , Shehan Dissanayake and Yudith Karunaratne.
It was Royal’s scrum half Deen Cassim and fly half Arshad Jamaldeen who created the excitement for the mammoth crowd when they used the ball beautifully. Both paired off well. Skipper Duminda Attygalle did a great service to his school together with Rimzi Jamaldeen and Chamara Dabare and Mushin Faleel too was in good form. Fly half Jamaldeen added considerably to his reputation as an opportunist. He has a deceptive stride and covered the distance of ground much faster than he appeared to be doing. He saw midway in the first half what was going to happen and in a flash, made some superb moves down the line.
Both sides talk highly of their rugby talent, but neither team had a good place kicker. Both sides missed easy kicks at goal.
As far as Trinity was concerned, they had several chances of scoring. They forgot the maxim “Attack is the best form of defence”. They fumbled, and indulged in hurried blind passing. If they had moved their threes in play, it might well have brought them a decent score and also they failed to tackle their opponents. So ended what could scarcely be called a good game of rugby for Royal. The better side of the evening — Royal, won because they played with a will to win. It should be said that referee Dilroy Fernando, did a fair job with the whistle.
Royal scored through Rizvi Jamaldeen twice and once by Chamara Dabare, Shehan Pathirane, Mushin Faleel and two of them were goaled by Arshad Jamaldeen. For Trinity, Akila Dissanayake score twice and one from Mohamed Rizmy and one of the tries was goaled by Kanchana Ramanayake.
The 1972 Trinity College skipper was invited by Trinity Principal Brig. Udaya Ariyaratne to present the Bradby Shield to the Royal Captain, Duminda Attygalle.