Joes deny DS passage through to the second round

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2023

St. Joseph’s College defeated favorites DS Senanayake College 16 (1T 1C 3P) – 29 (5T 2C) in the Dialog Schools’ Rugby League week 7 game, denying the Donz a spot in the second round of the League.

The Donz and the visitors St. Joseph’s both made two changes, coming into the game, as a well-rested Josephian outfit aimed to dismantle a high-flying Donz team and with it their chances of qualification.

The visitors made early inroads through their heavy forwards as skipper Naveen Marasinghe found the whitewash just 5 minutes into this much-anticipated fixture. Ivano White stepped up to the tee, assuming kicking duties from Rodrigo to knock over the conversion. (DS 00-07 SJC)

The Josephian outfit got into their rhythm early on, in a game with nothing to lose and all to gain, as the forwards stepped up to the plate as the DS players were in search of ways to stop their opponents.

Next up, it was Ayeshan Lanka who got on the scoreboard early on as the hosts were awestruck. The forward dived over as the visitors extended their lead. White made no mistake with the conversion. (DS 00-14 SJC)

Shehada Umagiliyage punted over one and missed one penalty before he was forced off with a knock he sustained during the game as the Donz finally managed to get on the scoreboard in the 23rd minute of the game. (DS 03-14 SJC)

Josephian fullback Randika Dahamjaya was sent to the bin as his ill-discipline went past the tolerance level of referee Gihan Yatawara.

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The Josephians pierced the DS defense, not once but twice through Tharusha Jayasuriya and Beeshma Jayasekara even though they were reduced a man as the Donz just managed to punt over another penalty only as a dominant Joesphian outfit finally managed to get their reliable game plan and line outs functioning.

Half time: DS Senanayake College 06 (2P) trail St. Joseph’s College 24 (4T 2C)

The Donz task at hand got just that bit tougher as the hosts knew what was required from them if they were to make it through to the next round.

For the Josephians it was about holding their ground while the hosts chased the game given the fact that they required a win or at minimum a losing bonus point.

Nippy halfback Pieris managed to sneak through a hole between the scrum and the first five-eighth as he put the Josephian defense on the back foot, scoring early on in the second half. Wijerathna added the extras as the home team dragged back the game even though they lost Umagiliyage and skipper Rajarathna to injury. (DS 13-24 SJC)

The Josephian failed with a couple of penalty attempts, while DS managed to pierce the posts off the boot of Peiris, giving the hosts a glimmer of hope heading into the final minutes of the game.

The Josephians retained their lead with good defense, and with their game plan clicking in the final match of the League season.

The hosts threw the kitchen sink towards St. Joseph’s leaving spaces in their defense, as Beeshma exploited such a hole, scoring in the dying embers of the game to seal the deal for the visitors, dumping out the hosts from the Dialog Schools’ Rugby League as their chance of qualification through to the next round ended.

Full time: DS Senanayake College 16 (1T 1C 3P) lost to St. Joseph’s College 29 (5T 2C) Player of the Match: Ayeshan Lanka (SJC)

Points Breakdown:

DS: Peiris 1T 1P, Wijerathna 1C 2P

SJC: Naveen Marasinghe 1T, Ayeshan Lanka 1T, Tharusha Jayasuriya 1T, Beeshma Jayasekara 2T, Ivano White 2C