St. Peter’s College kept their unbeaten record intact in the Singer Schools Rugby League 2018 against Kingswood College with a 20-10 victory at Havelock Park earlier this evening.
Their superb run of form showed no sign of decline in a tightly contested game, the lads from Bambalapitiya were given full value for their win as they dominated possession and territory for large periods and eventually outscored their opponents two tries to one after being held to 7-all at half-time.
With the monsoons returning mid-way through April, the Havelock Park field bore the brunt of the heavy rains. However, despite the difficult conditions, the Peterites dominated the breakdown from start to finish and that was ultimately where the game was won. Their forwards Faiz Abdulla, Javindu Fernando and Julian Charles were brutal, hitting at rucks in decisive moments.
The intent was made clear by the home side in the early exchanges when their forwards shoved their counterparts off the ball after Kingswood were penalized for bringing down a Peterite maul meters in front of the whitewash. Liyanapathirana rushed in opting for touch, and the driving maul once again collapsed. However, playing with advantage Dilshan Madhusanka spun a good, flat pass out to his left for Yohan Fernando to run on, smashing through the defense line for the opening try. Shehan Liyanapathirana converted to give the Peterites a 7-0 lead with ten minutes gone.
Clinical play from Peters at the set pieces, prevented the visitors from gaining any form of momentum as they continued their dominance past the quarter hour mark. It took a moment of individual brilliance from the nippy scrum-half Hirusha Sampath to give Kingswood the much-needed spark to their dampening hopes as the game progressed. Peters’ repeated a comedy of errors trying to run from their own end of the field saw them drop the ball, resulting in a rusty hospital pass from their inside center. Sampath kept his composure, beating the first defender with a burst of speed, putting the ball to boot, running around the next defender before collecting the ball to dot down. He added the extras himself to halt the game at 7-all going into the interval.
Half Time: St.Peter’s 07(1T 1C)-07(1T 1C) Kingswood
Despite being totally outplayed at nearly every phase of the game in the opening 35 minutes, the Sampath try seemed to have sparked the Kingswoodians desire to claw their way back into the match, but that and a late penalty was about all that Kingswood had to offer as St Peter’s stepped up.
It was the rapid thinking and clean execution from the home side forwards that allowed them to get into ideal positions to convert territory and possession into points. Minutes into the half, Liyanapathirana extended his side’s lead when he landed a three-pointer off the kicking tee. The rush defense was too quick for the Peterite forward who darted his way into heavy traffic spilling the ball in the process, however the wheel of fortune turned his way as the Kingswood defenders were a tad too high on the tackle giving way for Liyanapathirana to restore the lost lead. (SPC 10-7 KCK)
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St Peter’s survived a ten-minute onslaught after that penalty, absorbed the pressure and went up the other end of the field to extend their lead by another 7-pointer as Julian Charles emerged from a pile of forwards over the whitewash. A line-out on the half way mark resulting from a penalty that found touch, and was driven by their forwards upfield paving the way for Charles to score. Liyanapathirana added the extras with ease. (SPC 17-07 KCK)
Sampath then slotted his second penalty, as the Peter’s midfield strayed offside on defense inside their 22m. Sampath who had been kicking 40m penalties in Nittawela all season long had to cover 20m this time to cut the deficit back to one score. (SPC 17-10 KCK)
The final 10 minutes was a crazy affair as the visitors went in search of the win but the Peterites managed to deny them any further points, sealing the game with a late penalty, Liyanapathirana secured victory as he slotted a penalty shortly before the full-time whistle. (SPC 20-10 KCK)
Kingswood will go way with their third defeat on the trot but will take a lot of heart into the Zahira game with this performance. Peter’s however lived to battle another day and the toughest tests for them are yet to come.
- ThePapare.com Player of the match: Faiz Abdulla (SPC)
St.Peter’s: Julian Charles (1T), Yohan Fernando (1T), Shehan Liyanapathirana (2C 2P)
Kingswood: Hirusha Sampath (1T 1C 1P)
Cautions and Send-off’s – Janitha Rajanayake (Yellow) Kingswood, Shenthike Dellon Fernando (Yellow) St. Peter’s