Reviewed by Chaniru Senhas and Rehan Anandakumar (Web Content Team)
The anticipation reached a fever pitch as the 2nd leg of the 77th Bradby Shield rugby clash unfolded between Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo in the evening on the 5th August 2023 at the Royal College Sports Complex, Colombo. Enthusiastic rugby supporters from across the nation, as well as both schools, converged to witness this exhilarating confrontation between two of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious educational institutions. What followed was a rollercoaster of emotions, with both teams showcasing their prowess, determination and skill on the field.
An electrifying atmosphere with a fierce start
With an electrifying ambiance setting the stage, the two teams entered the arena, amidst the uproar of cheering fans, ready to vie for the coveted Bradby Shield. Trinity College surged ahead, establishing a lead with a commanding 17 points on the scoreboard. Their relentless offensive onslaught, coupled with meticulously orchestrated plays, applied immense pressure on Royal College’s defensive line. In response, Royal College displayed their attacking acumen, securing 14 crucial points.
A Second-Half Resurgence
As the second half commenced, Royal College emerged with renewed vigour and unity. Launching a barrage of potent offensive manoeuvres, they tested the mettle of Trinity College’s defense. A display of great execution and tactical prowess allowed Royal College to surge into the lead, amassing an impressive 27 points in the latter half alone.
Trinity’s Struggle and Missed Opportunities
Despite their valiant efforts, Trinity College found it challenging to maintain their initial advantage. Adding a mere 3 points to their tally during the second half, they struggled to counter Royal College’s relentless pursuit of victory. A pivotal moment arrived when Trinity College attempted a critical conversion from an outlying position, a chance that unfortunately slipped through their grasp, marking a turning point in the match’s dynamics.
Intensity and Determination in the Final Moments
As the clock neared the final five minutes, both teams were resolute in etching their names in the annals of the game. Supporters of Trinity College rallied to encourage their players for a comeback, while Royal College’s fans spurred their team on to stabilise their lead. The atmosphere crackled with tension as players poured their remaining energy into the pursuit of triumph, relentlessly driving the ball from side to side, aiming to breach the defense and reach the try line.
Royal College’s Triumph and Tactical Mastery
Exceptional teamwork, and strategic brilliance displayed by Royal College came to the fore, clinching a well-deserved victory with a final score of 27-20. The spirited resurgence in the second half, coupled with Trinity College’s missed opportunities, underscored the pivotal difference in the outcome.
A Legendary Encounter and Future Prospects
The 77th Bradby Shield rugby encounter between Trinity College Kandy and Royal College Colombo shall be etched in the memory as an enthralling and fierce contest between two formidable teams. While Trinity College’s early lead showcased their mettle, it was Royal College’s unwavering resolve and resilience in the latter half that secured their triumph. This victory adds another illustrious chapter to the storied history of the Bradby Shield rivalry, highlighting the exceptional talent and sportsmanship of both squads. Enthusiasts and supporters eagerly await the next Bradby Shield engagement, certain that the battle for supremacy will retain its unyielding intensity. It is up to the school administrators, school communities and rugby officials to uphold the rules of this beautiful game supposedly played by gentlemen and resist the temptation to ‘win at any cost’.
2nd Leg Results:
Full Time – Trinity College Kandy (17) vs. Royal College Colombo (27)
77th Brady Shield Encounter Aggregate Score:
Trinity College Kandy (30) vs. Royal College Colombo (37)