Unbeaten League Champs St. Peter’s College secured the Double as they took home the Dialog Schools Rugby Knockouts President’s Trophy 2023 with a resounding victory over last year’s winners Isipathana College 25 points to 16 in the Finale worked off at Sugathadasa Stadium.
The showdown between the two best schools sides for the year 2023 saw Isipathana locking horns with St. Peter’s College at crowded Sugathadasa Stadium.
Isipathana had a few early opportunities, especially with their rolling maul, as they managed to put the Peterites under pressure. Still, sloppy play from the green machines prevented a try-scoring chance. Peterites took the maximum out of their first opportunity as the forwards gained a few meters before sending the ball to their fly half, Windya De Mel and a laser-like pass to Sudesh Jayawickrama allowed him to burst through the Isipathana defence to score under the sticks with Yumeth Shihara adding the extras.
- Isipathana receive a second chance to deny SPC silverware!
- Champion’s comeback too hot for Josephians
- A fiery second half carries Isipathana towards another Final
- St. Peter’s crowned unbeaten champions as Knockouts roll around
Isipathana cut the deficit when the Peterites gave away a penalty in the breakdown as Rinesh Silva bisected the uprights to open the scoring for them.(SPC 07 – 03 IC)
St. Peter’s replied straightaway, as their lineout finally functioned well, and they formed the rolling maul, gaining value meters forward before Dulaj Nawodya broke away from the maul to find the whitewash with Shihara adding the extras from a difficult angle.(SPC 14 – 03 IC)
Peterites continued to play fast, open, running rugby as their backs found space in the Pathana defence with Kushan Tharindu making inroads and a lovely running angle by Dineth Ranasinghe was good enough for the winger to dive over for the third try of the game for the league champs. (SPC 19 – 03 IC)
With their backs to the wall, Isipathana rose to the occasion as they hit back at the Peterites just before the half-time break when they won the ball from an excellent counter-rucking turnover and sent the ball to the corner for Skipper Naveen Kanishka to go over.
Half Time: St. Peter’s College 19 (3T,2C) – Isipathana College 08 (1T,1P)
Isipathana started the second half as they had ended the first, as Rinesh Silva added three more points to keep the defending Champions in the game.
Just after the restart, Isipathana gave away a penalty in front of the sticks and Yumeth Shihara’s penalty moved the Peterites 11 points clear. (SPC 22 – 11 IC)
St. Peter’s went down to 14 as Aiden Fernando was sent to the bin for a late tackle and the Isipathana forwards continued took advantage, a rolling maul allowing hooker Senuth Senarathna to go over and cut the deficit down to 6 points. (SPC 22 – 16 IC)
St. Peter’s were dealt with another blow as their skipper Ashain Madugaspe was sent to the bin but the Peterite defence held the Isipathana onslaught without giving any points, and the Peterites added a three-pointer from the halfway mark by Yumeth Shihara to seal the President’s trophy as they ended the season as the Unbeaten Double Champions.
Full Time: St. Peter’s College 25 (3T,2C,2P) – Isipathana College 16 (2T,2P)
ThePapare Player of the Match: Sudesh Jayawickrema (St. Peter’s College)
St. Peter’s College: 25
Tries: Sudesh Jayawickrema, Dulaj Navodya ,Dineth Ranasinghe, Con: Yumeth Shihara (2); Pens: Yumeth Shihara (2)
Isipathana College 16
Tries: Naveen Kanishka, Senuth Senarathna ;Pen: Rinesh Silva (2)