Quarter finals of 2018 Inter University Rugby Championship was held on 25th and 26th of August on Colombo University grounds.
On the 25th, first match was held between University of Kelaniya and University of Sri Jayewardenepura. After a hard fought match Kelaniya team won the match by a point. Even though the match was held between two strong teams, both teams made mistakes which caused both teams to lose opportunities to score points. Kelani team got a penalty at the 4th minute and S.K. Mataraarachchi didn’t waste the opportunity to score. On the 8th minute Japura team got a penalty but Kosala Pahalagama was unable to make the penalty a success. In the 26th minute, the half time Kelani players took the benefit of a scrum and scored a try raising their score to 8. Mataraarchchi added the extras. Just before the end of first half, J’pura made a strong comeback by making a penality try. Half time scores showed as 07-10 in favor of Kelaniya.
Japura team had the upper hand of the game as team kelani played with two players less. Gaining the advantage of this Isuru Gunatilake of J’pura team scored a try few minutes after the break. Their conversion wasn’t successful as the ball went away hitting a goalpost. They might not have thought that missed conversion will decide their fate. For the first time of the game, J’pura took the lead. Few minutes after that Team Kelani had another penalty opportunity but Matharaarachchi wasn’t successful this time.
In the 47th minute a golden opportunity to score a try was lost by Japura players as the Kelani players managed to touch the ball first, after it cross the try line. 5 minutes before the end of the game, Matararachchi managed to make a penalty opportunity a success. That 3 points made the Kelani team, the winners of the first quarter final of the 2018 Inter University Rugby competition by 13-12. With that win team Kelani entered the semifinals.
Second quarter final match was between the hosts, University of Colombo and Sabaragamuwa University. Huge number of supporters circled the ground to support their home team. This match was dominated by players of team Colombo making team Sabara defenseless. Mayura Rathnasooriya of team Colombo scored a try in the second minute of the game. R. Perera made the conversion successful and that made team Colombo take the lead by 7-0.
Hulugalla and Perera scored two trys on the 7th and 14th minutes of the game but the conversions weren’t successful. That took team Colombo to 17 points. On the 20th minute a player of team Sabara had a yellow card making them more helpless. Meantime Mendis scored a try but the conversion was successful. On the 37th minute Ushan Madushan of team Colombo scored a try and S. Dileepa made the conversion successful. At the end of the 1st half scorecard showed 29-00 in favor of Colombo.
While the pressure was on team Sabara, on the 44th minute Madushan made another try and it was successfully converted by Dileepa. That raised the Colombo score to 36 points. Soon after that Sabra started scoring, by making a penalty opportunity success. That was the one and only time Sabaragamuwa team scored in the game. Dileepa and Fernando scored two trys on 54th and 62nd minutes of the game but the second conversion wasn’t successful. In the dying minutes of the game, Colombo team scored another try and Dileepa made a successful conversion. At the end of the play score card showed 55 points for Colombo and 03 points for Sabara. With that crucial win team Colombo entered the semifinals.
The third quarter final match was held between University of Moratuwa and University of Jaffna on Colombo University grounds on 26th of August. Both teams had key players who plays for world university team. On the 2nd minute, just after the beginning of the play Chandimal Mabulage of Mora team scored their 1st try and it was followed by a successful conversion by Anuja Weerakoon which started the scoring for Mora team. Another try was made by Anuja Weerakoon of Mora team and he himself converted it successfully to make the score 14-00 in favor of Mora team. On the 14th minute another try was made by V.W. Gunawardane of Mora team but conversion of Weerakoon wasn’t successful.
A player of the Jaffna team got a red card and Mora team had the upper hand of the game as team Jaffna was playing with only 12 players (two players were given yellow cards previously). On the 18th and 20th minutes two tries were made by Captain, Nissankaarachi and Anuja Weerakoon of team Mora but only the first try was successfully converted by Chandimal Mabulage.A good sportsmanship was seen by the two teams though this was a heated game. When the 1st half ended scorecard showed 31 points to nil in favor of Mora.
On the 42nd and 44th minutes of the game two triess were made by Dinuk Dulshan and Chamal Palihadaru of Mora team and Mabulage successfully converted those making the lead 45 points. Again tries were made on the 47th and 50th minutes by Dinuk Dulshan and D.C. Athapaththu Mora team but the conversions were unsuccessful. A player of team Jaffna was injured just before the end of the play and Mora team showed good sportsmanship and discipline during that situation. At the end of the game scorecard showed 60 points for team Mora and No points for Jaffna team. With that win Moratuwa entered to the semifinals.
The 4th quarter final was held between Peradeniya University and Uva Wellassa University on the same day. Team Pera won the match by 75 points.This win has come in handy for strong team Pera as the Uva defence was weak.
Deelaka Ariyaratne of team Pera scored their 1st try within the 1st minute of the game, infact it was one of the fastest tries in the tournament. The conversion was done successfully by Isuru Upeksha making the score moves to 07. Two minutes later L. Kulasinghe of team Pera made a try and it was again successfully converted by Isuru to help the scoreboard move on to 14. As the pressure was raising against Uva team Arosha Jayathilake of team Pera scored the third try on the 9th minute. Isuru again successfully converted the try making the lead 21.
On 18th and 22nd minutes Deelaka Ariyarathna and Arosha Jayathilake of team pera made try attempts but only the second one was converted successfully by Isuru Upeksha. After a scrum, Isuru Upeksha of team Pera scored a try on the 28th minute. He was able to make the conversion a success moving team Pera on to 40 points while Uva team hasn’t even started scoring. Just before the end of the 1st half two another tries were made by Jayathilaka and Isuru of team Pera and they were successfully converted by Isuru himself. At the half time Pera was in lead 54-00.
Two minutes after the beginning of the second half another try was made by Keshan Abeygunawardane of team pera and it was successfully converted by Sasanka Kodithuwakku. That made team Pera to move on to 61 points. On the 39th and 50th minutes tries were made by Arosha Jayathilaka and Sasanka Kodithuwakku but they were unable to convert both tries. About 7 minutes before the end of the play a good kick from Uva fly half Madushan Ranaweera made their first 3 points by a penalty kick. Sathsara Amarasekara of team Pera scored another try just before the end of the 2nd half and Kodithuwakku was able to convert it successfully. At the end of the play scorecard showed 78 points for Pera and 03 points for Uva. It wasn’t a difficult match for team Pera as the Uva team made some mistakes on the field. With that win team Pera was qualified for the semi-finals of Inter University Rugby competition.
Article by – Yasas Kasun
Edited by – Isuru Akalanka