The 2nd leg of the 74th annual Bradby Shield Encounter between Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo was held on the 05th of May at the historic Trinity College Rugby Stadium, Pallekalle.
Many rugby enthusiasts from all around Sri Lanka came down to Kandy to witness the greatest rivalry in Sri Lanka Schools Rugby, a match played to bring glory and victory to their own schools, strengthening the strong bond between each of the schools, which was established in 1945 by Principal Bradby of Royal College.
Royal College, who are currently leading the points table had an easy win in their hand thanks to their first leg score of 39-07 at Colombo. However, the second leg was not as comfortable as they fancied. The torrential downpour added another variable, making for an interesting game for the players and fans alike.
The first try of the match came from the Royal forward Sasitha Siyath. Siyath, who is an extremely aggressive forward, went over the try line from 10m out. However Dulan Wijewardene failed to convert, making the score 05-0 in favour of Royal.
Six minutes later a Trinity forward was penalised and 03 points were added to the Royal score, bringing their total up to 8. In response, the Lions dug in with quick passes and bone crunching hits and supported Trinity prop Praveenda Wijethilake who placed the first try of the game for Trinity; but they failed to convert, making the score 08-05 to Royal. In the closing minutes of the first half Sasitha Siyath scored again, but Dulan Jayawardena again failed to convert.
End of first half : TCK 05 (1T) vs RCC 13 (2T, 1P)
In the second half, the Royalists advanced towards the try zone inch by inch as the Trinity defence was stronger than ever. However, Sasitha Siyath managed to add another try for Royal, and 2 points were added to the score with the conversion, making the numbers 20 – 05.
Lennox Calyanarathe was then sent off the pitch by a yellow card due to some continuous infringement. However, this did not lessen the spirit of the Lions, and in the 55th minute Trinity prop Praveenda Wijethilake added 05 points to the score and Akitha Sakalasooriya had no issues in converting it, making the score 20-12.
The winger for Trinity, Vishwa Ranaraja soon upped the Trinity score with a clean try and once again Sakalasooriya successfully converted, to make the score 20-19. However, Maleesha Madumevan of Royal sealed the game with another try, and Maleesha Perera added another 2 points with the conversion as the referee blew the whistle.
Full time score: TCK 19 (3T, 2C) vs RCC 27 (4T, 2C, 1P)
The Trinity team may have lost the match, but they displayed great determination and never gave up, even in a losing situation. The commentators said during the match, “There is gold and blue everywhere you look, but there isn’t any red, gold and blue.” The most important thing in a match is that you get support from your team-mates and your school. That is what creates the true winning atmosphere in the game and most of all enjoying the match.
Giving a statement to one of the Commentators, the Captain of Royal 1XV team Sabith Feroz said, “We witnessed a much improved Trinity side that pushed the Tuskers till the last minute, but more than that we witnessed the true spirit of the Bradby Shield after the final whistle.”
It was also a ‘beautiful Bradby highlight’ to see both teams in a moment of pure felicity, huddled together having a time of prayer at the end of the match living up to the true Bradby spirit upholding the “respect” which is greater than any win.
The Royalists lifted the Bradby shield at the Lions den, but all the teams showed true spirit and courage and managed to uphold the good values of the sport and the blue ribbon of Sri Lanka’s school rugby union season – The Bradby Shield Encounter, completing 74 years of chivalrous Rugby tradition between two great schools in Sri Lanka.
Review by the Library Council (Chamal Abeytunga) in collaboration with the Junior Literary Association (Kevin Tennekoon)