On a hot and humid evening at Havelock Park, Trinity College entered the fray with three changes in the vital 8,9 & 10 jumpers while the hosts St. Joseph’s made just a single change, bringing in Teran Karunanayake on to the wing-three position as Tharindu Maduranga shifted back to his usual no.13 spot with Ruchira Ekanayake missing out on selection.
Both teams stepped in with wins from the preceding week, looking to add to their points tally, and consolidate their place on the points table.
The hosts, with a flying start to their season, got off the mark in sensational fashion through a try from power-packed Centre Tharindu Maduranga. The youngster brought about the Razzle-Dazzle he’s known for with an brilliant individual try rounded off under the posts. (SJC 07 – 00 TCK)
Santhush Algama, added a couple of penalties, along with a second try from outside center Maduranga, scoring off the back of sublime forward play from the Josephians as Trinity College had no answer to the Josephian attack.
Algama displayed a clinical performance off the tee, converting all four kicks at goal as the visitors were put under immense pressure to find answers to the hosts’ attack. (SJC 20-00 TCK)
The visitors struck against the run of play as Trinity second-five eighth Tevin Karunanayake finished off a counter attacking move with a try, breathing life back into the Trinity College outfit. Miranga Subasinghe made no mistake with adding the extras from close range as a fight back was on the cards. (SJC 20-07 TCK)
The mini revival was dealt a hammer blow as the hosts regained control of proceedings, ending the half with a try from a rolling maul, as skipper Tharindu De Alwis crashed over the whitewash for the Joes. Santush failed with the touch line kick, however, the Josephians were in firm control of proceedings going into the break.
Half time: St. Joseph’s College 25 (3T 2C 2P) lead Trinity College 07 (1T 1C)
Nilufer Ibrahim’s words of wisdom during the break seemed to spur on the home team and they took just two minutes to score their 1st points of the half as Cheika Jayawardena got on the scoresheet, with a try.
Algama resumed usual proceedings with the boot, adding the extras from under the post as the Josephian lead was extended further. (SJC 32-07 TCK)
The game looked to be getting out of the reach of Trinity College, however, the Lions struck back once again, to keep the game in the balance.
The Trinity back line breathed life into their attack, bringing about a slick backline move, as try scorer, second-five eighth Karunanayake released Geeshapa Kulathunga with some back-door play, as the winger snuck through a yawning gap to extend his lead at the top of the try scorers list.
Five-eighth Miranga Subasinghe failed with the extras but a mini revival seemed to be on the cards as the home team took their foot off the gas. (SJC 32-12 TCK)
The visitors were revitalized as Trinity pounced on an error made by the lads from Maradana. Harshana Samarasinghe was the beneficiary as the replacement with fresh legs cut the deficit further. Captain Reshan Bandaranayake added the extras as Trinity College got within a two try margin, with everything left to play for. (SJC 32-19 TCK)
The visitor’s comeback was hindered with self-inflicted disciplinary errors. The potent backline of the home team played a part as Maduranga set up Sudaraka Devappriya to go over in the near corner, putting the game to bed, even though Algama failed to add the extras. (SJC 37 – 19 TCK)
The Trinity discipline continued on the downward trend as Mecan Yashwantha saw yellow in the dying embers of the game, handing the visitors a sour end to the match and leaving coach Inthi Marikkar with plenty to ponder before their final first round fixture against Science College at home.
Full time: St. Joseph’s College 37 (5T 3C 2P) beat Trinity College 19 (3T 2C)
ThePapare.com Player of the Match: Rashane Gunawardena
St. Joseph’s College – Tharindu Maduranga 2T, Tharindu De Alwis 1T, Sudaraka Devappriya 1T, Cheika Jayawardena 1T, Santhush Algama 3C 2P
Trinity College – Tevin Karunanayake 1T, Geeshapa Kulathunga 1T, Harshana Samarasinghe 1T, Miranga Subasinghe 1C, Reshan Bandaranayake 1C
Bookings: Mecan Yashwantha Yellow Card