St.Peter’s muscle into final | Sunday Observer

St.Peter’s muscle into final

14 July, 2019
Isipathana player Yohan Ratnaweera is stalled by the Peterite defence  (Pic: Saman Mendis)
Isipathana player Yohan Ratnaweera is stalled by the Peterite defence (Pic: Saman Mendis)

Two tries by winger Ishan Fernando steered St. Peter’s to a narrow 19 points (3 tries, 2 conversions) to 14 (2 tries, 2 conversions) win over Isipathana in the semi-final of the Milo Trophy knock-out rugby encounter played at Royal Complex yesterday which was marred by violence as the losers assaulted the winners.

The game was well contested by both teams and saw a lot of running despite heavy underfoot conditions that made it slippery and difficult to side step. The game was a bit lackluster due to too much kicking by both teams with the intentions of gaining ground. Isipathana were slightly better in this aspect but the Peterites ran the ball and with better handling saw them carry play forward into Isipathana territory often.

St. Peter’s scored first in the 12th minute when the ball changed hands and on working the line winger Ishan Fernando handed off a defender and went through for a good try.

Thenuka Nanayakkara kicked right for them to take full points.

Isipathana found the equalizer 12 minutes later when they worked a sequence of mauls and saw Sahindu Sihasara going over near the posts.

Manilka Rubeyru made the easy conversion.

Play continued to remain midfield until almost on the stroke of half time when Isipathana were offered a penalty but Rubeyru’s long kick at goal fell short. The scores were level on 7-7 at half time.

St. Peter’s went ahead in the 40th minute when Raveen Fernando on being challenged in the open kicked ahead and Ashan Ranasinghe was quick to pounce on the loose ball to score.

Nanayakkara had an easy conversion to go ahead 14-7 at that point.

Isipathana then produced some fierce moves into Peterite territory and once again worked a series of mauls. Then they were given a penalty and number eight Daham Wickremarachchi took a quick short tap and ran over the line to score. Rubeyru once again was on target with the kick to level the scores 14-14.

Even after this both teams adopted kicking ahead tactics to gain ground without much success. Isipathana had a few chances going a begging due to poor handling and passing.

The Peterites went ahead in the 56th minute when they worked a series of mauls near the Isipathana goal line and on opening out saw winger Ishan Fernando get an open field to score his second try of the game.

Nanayakkara’s kick at goal from an acute angle fell short.

Thereafter, Isipathana launched a series of attacking moves but had to fall back due to their own mistakes.

The Peterites too defended well and even kept the ball whenever they got it until the final whistle was blown.

St. Peter’s will now meet Wesley in the final on July 20 at the same venue.