The enthusiasm for rugby has reached to its climax as we are getting closer to the final weekend of the Inter University Rugby Championship 2017 and it’s another showdown between last year finalists; University of Moratuwa and University of Peradeniya. Both teams remain unbeaten as they hammered all of their opponents easily and it will be a real test of their strength, tactics, spirit and the game plan when they go down against each other in the final battle.
Semifinal matches were held last Saturday at the Niththawela Rugby Stadium where lads from Moratuwa triumphed against University of Sri Jayawardenapura while the hosts became victorious against University of Colombo.
First match of the day was between team Pera and Colombo. Team Pera started the scoring with a try from Sasanka Weerakoon which was converted easily by Isuru Herath. Colombo made a quick reply with the try of K.Harshanath and the successful conversion to make the scores level. But after that it was team Pera who took the lead till the end as they completed another 4 tries including 2 from Arosha Jayathilake and one each from Sasanka Weerakoon and H.Ekanayake before the half time whistle blows. Isuru Herath made no mistake converting all of them to raise the score to 35. In reply, Colombo players were only managed to score a single try through D.Wickramasinghe. Team Pera was leading at the half time 35 to 14.
In the second half, it was H.Ekanayake who started the scoring for team Pera to extend the lead. After that Colombo players tried to threat the Pera dominance as they completed two back to back tries through D.Wickramasinghe and D.Madhuwantha. But the hosts stayed calm and replied with a try from Sasanka Weerakoon, which was his third of the match and a penalty to vanish the final hopes of Colombo players. University of Peradeniya won the match by 52 (7T 7C 1P) TO 28 (4T 4C) to seal a spot in the final.
Defending Champions, University of Moratuwa met University of Sri Jayawardenapura in the 2nd semifinal which was won convincingly by team Mora. Moratuwa players were at the driving seat from the beginning of the game to shatter all the hopes of a final of the SJP players. They scored two tries in the first half through S.Liyanage and S.Katugampola which were converted successfully by P.Madhusanka to take the lead 14 to nil.
In the second half, Moratuwa lads made 4 tries tightening their dominance of the game. P.Madhusanka converted 3 of them successfully. Japura players managed to score only a single try throughout the match which came through D.Herath and the conversion was failed. University of Moratuwa won the match 40 (6T 5C) to 5 (1T)
Next Saturday these 4 teams will once again arrive to the arena but with different hopes. Colombo and Japura players will play for the 3rd spot at the consolation final seeking to regain their lost glory while team Pera and Mora will meet to decide the title holder of this year. Will it be a replay of the last years’ final or will the hosts triumph against the defending champions? All will be decided on the coming Saturday at Niththawela Rugby Ground. We congratulate both the teams to play with honor and pride and to give their best for a magnificient finale.
By Isuru Akalanka