Peterites dethrone Joes in juggernaut crush | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Peterites dethrone Joes in juggernaut crush

The Champion St. Peter’s College team celebrate winning the inter-school Milo President’s Trophy rugby tournament at the Race Course ground in Colombo yesterday. They beat St. Joseph’s College 22-20 Pic: Saman Mendis
The Champion St. Peter’s College team celebrate winning the inter-school Milo President’s Trophy rugby tournament at the Race Course ground in Colombo yesterday. They beat St. Joseph’s College 22-20 Pic: Saman Mendis

Tournament favourites St. Joseph’s College were grounded to a screeching halt by a juggernaut of a Peterite set of forwards that were unstoppable in the Milo Trophy knock-out inter school rugby final under floodlights at the Race Course ground in Colombo yesterday.

Perhaps the Joes did not bargain for such an unbelievable drive by a heavier pack from St. Peter’s College who proved they had what was needed to win a high intensity final with a 22-20 triumph after trailing 5-17 in the first half.

It appeared that the Peterites had woken up from their slumber with the pundits wanting to know by what margin the Joes will eventually win in what was a bonus Battle of the Saints match that marked the first time in history that the two schools met in a major final.

There was only one side that played in the first half as the Joes capitalized on what would have easily been a most lethargic show by the Peterites who could not unleash a single tackle to cripple the opposition that resulted in the defending champions scoring their only two tries without a contest when third row forward Tharindu de Alwis and winger Gemunu Cheitiya crossed the line for tries virtually unchallenged.

Both tries were virtual gifts, scored after the Peterites failed to clear a missed penalty kick from Joes player Santhush Algama followed by full-back Shehan Liyanapathirana failing to collect a high ball from which play-maker Gemunu Cheitiya brushed away three defenders to touch down.

But the Peterites just when all seemed to have been lost, rose to the occasion like a giant to produce rolling maul after rolling maul which the Joes could not counter or sustain for most of the second half.

Peterite prop Julian Charles made merry like never before as he waltzed over the line to score twice and neutralize the Joes into submission for once this season.

Both schools may have much in common but it was one man, the crafty and battle hardened pint-sized scrum half Jason Karunaratne who made an envious difference when he initiated what was to become the match winning try.

Sensing the Joes forwards were kept preoccupied in countering the rolling maul he out-foxed the defence when referee Praneeth Veharanga ordered the ball to be used as he crept through on the blind side like a disturbed serpent to send his unmarked fly-half Kenneth Wimaladasa over the line to score.

Wimaladasa missed converting the previous three tries but he made the most precious kick of the season when he landed the conversion right between the posts to his own try three minutes before the end to send the Peterite supporters into a celebratory frenzy. Winger Shenol Silva also joined the party as another try-scorer. 

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