The biggest fixture in the school rugby calendar – the Bradby Shield encounter between Royal College Colombo and Trinity College Kandy – will be contested this weekend when the first leg is played at Reid Avenue.
This will be the 72nd encounter between the two schools, and given how closely placed they are in the points table, could provide exciting rugby. Both teams have suffered defeats this season – both losing to league leaders S. Thomas’ College – but Trinity are marginally head thanks to three wins, while Royal have two wins and a draw. The encounter is likely go draw huge crowds to the stadium while being keenly followed around the world.
Trinity and Royal are competing in the segment 1A of the tournament, and had victories over Wesley College and D. S. Senanayake College. The Trinitians beat St. Joseph’s College, but the Joes played out a thrilling draw against the Royalists.
Royal, led by Bhanuka Gamage, broke Trinity’s four-year hold of the Bradby Shield in last year’s encounter, as they won 72 points to 22. They edged out the first leg in Pallakele 23 points 22, before thrashing the visitors 49-00 in the second leg in Colombo. It was the 31st time Royal won the encounter, behind Trinity College’s 39 wins.
Trinity will also be without their skipper Rahul Karunararthilake for the first leg after he was shown a red card in his team’s previous game, and must have cope without his contribution. The second leg will be played in two weeks.