The Thomian fightback in the final ten minutes of play was too little too late as the Lions from the hills went on win back the Canon de Saram shield defeating S. Thomas’ 29-14.
Full-time score: Trinity 29 (19) – S. Thomas’ 14 (0)
Thomas’ came into the game with an undue disadvantage with #8 Christian De Lile ruled out owing to illness and skipper Naveen Henakankanamage barely fit to survive an 80-minute game.
Trinity pounced on the Thomians from the very first minute with Diluksha Dange almost making it to the try line. The ball was knocked but thereon and it were the Thomians who foxed the visitors into playing in their own territory thanks to some intelligent territorial kicking my Hans Walpola.
The ‘school by the sea’ will host the ‘school by river, lake, and mountain’ for the 40th Canon R. S. De Saram trophy..
For the first time in four games, Trinity was scoreless at the 20 minute mark and it took Diluksha Dange to create the overlap allowing Amit Kulathunga to score the first. Wijesuriya added the extras (7-0).
Not long after Kulathunga’s effort, the second try for Trinity with Dange creating space for Avishka Shiek to step inside to score(14-0).
Going from scoreless in the first 20, Trinity crossed over for three tries in the next twenty minutes. The third came through a 5m scrum where Lashane Wijesuriya single-handedly made it to the try line. (19-0)
Halftime: Trinity 19 (3T 2C) to S. Thomas 0 (0)
Hans Walpola was the anchor behind the Thomian aggression in the first half and in similar fashion, he brought hope back to the Mount Lavinia lads by scoring the first try. Walpola was quick to react taking the quick tap and accelerated away to score under the posts. Dion Dias converted (19-7).
Working their way from the try, two more chances went begging for the Thomians and Mayon Jayawardena almost made it to the try line but ended up knocking on the ball.
However, Trinity utilized a 5m lineout to initiate a rolling maul allowing skipper Nathan Yee to score towards the 60th minute of play to get back the lead (24-7).
Continuous infringements in the rucks forced the referee to show two players from Trinity off to the naughty chair. With the numerical advantage at hand, S. Thomas opted to go for a 5m line out to get a possible try.
Their gamble worked as Mayon Jayawardena touched down from the back of the rolling maul. Dias added the extras (14-24).
That was all that the hosts could get and Akith Sakalasooriya’s 77th minute try sealed the game for the Lions as they had successfully won back the Canon R. S. de Saram shield.
This will be Trinity’s 23rd Canon de Saram trophy win, and they lead the tally 23 in reply to 17 of S. Thomas’
It was not the best games on the field with both teams committing clinical errors and missing out on important chances. The Thomian skipper Henakankanamage had to exit the field at the end of the first half and had he been there, the play might have been different.
Trinity shouldn’t be too happy with their performance but they continue to remain unbeaten in the segment and will most probably finish on top of the Group IB with only Prince of Wales to go.
ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Diluksha Dange
Full-time score: Trinity 29 (5T 2C) S. Thomas 14 (2T 2C)
Trinity College – Tries by Avishka Shiek, Amit Kulathunga, Lashane Wijesuriya, Nathan Yee and Akith Sakalasooriya
Conversions (2) by Lashane Wijesuriya
S. Thomas’ College – Tries by Hans Walpola and Mayon Jayawardena
Conversions (2) by Dion Dias