Tigers hunt down the Joes in a thrilling season opener

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024

St. Joseph’s College hosted Vidyartha College in the season opening clash of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2024 today at Havelock Park. In a game that went right down the wire, the visitors managed to register a crucial 27-22 Victory.

Inside the first 5 minutes of the game, the first points of the season was scored by Ivano White after an early hands on the ruck penalty conceded by the visitors (SJC 03 – 00 VCK)

Tharusha Piyarathna scored the first try of the season after Vidyartha worked the ball off a scrum from the left of the field. Some slick passing from Left to right and a lovely delayed pass to Piyaratha got the job done as the Tigers got the lead for the first time in the game on the 6th minute mark. Their Fly Half Rusith Thamodya converted the try to make it a four point lead (SJC 03 – 07 VCK)

After toiling hard for some time inside the Vidyartha half, Joes found the whitewash thanks to some quick recycle work as the Vidyartha defenders were a tad bit slow to recover from the earlier phases. Induwara Rodrigo the Prop forward went underneath the post and White converted it to increase the lead (SJC 10 – 07 VCK)

But straight away after scoring the try, St. Joseph’s College gave away a Penalty and Thamodya kicked it through to even the scores (SJC 10 – 10 VCK)

Going into the last five minutes of the first half, Vishika Fernando went over after a lovely break from the middle of the field. A key moment from his powerful run was the handoff on the final defender just before reaching out to touch the ball down. The try was easily converted by White to restore their lead back to seven points (SJC 17 – 10 VCK)

Just before lemons, Vidyartha College who entered the opposition 22m territory attacked the right hand corner but then shifted the attack to the left only to shift their attention back to the right corner halfway foxing the Joes defenders which in return gave Tharusha Punsara enough room to find the whitewash from the right corner. Thamodya kicked through a perfect kick from the right corner with a hard angle to get valuable 2 points as the two sides went to the half time break all even (SJC 17 – 17 VCK)

Half-Time – SJC 17 – 17 VCK

Joes made quick inroads to the Vidyartha 22m territory in the second half but they conceded a penalty and Tigers took the tap quickly from their own 22m surprising the Joes and some lovely running finding gaps and offloading with pin-point accuracy led the way for the finish by Gayan Perera who used the right corner of the field after a lovely low collection. Perera also evaded a couple of defenders on his way for a try of the season contender. Thamodya with another successful conversion increased their lead to seven points. (SJC 17 – 24 VCK)

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After a period where both the sides made a lot of errors and missed out on opportunities where they conceded penalties left to right, Joes who were desperately in search of a score equalling try found that with just 3 minutes to go for the final whistle. Skipper Fernando went over for the hard-fought try but unfortunately for the Joes, White missed an easy conversion as Joes missed out on the chance to go equal with Vidyartha. (SJC 22 – 24 VCK)

With just seconds to go for the final whistle, Joes conceded a penalty inside their own half and the Tigers opted for the three points as Thamodya added the points and the referee signalled for the end of the game as the Tigers celebrated a deserving win to kickoff the season (SJC 22 – 27 VCK)

Full Time :- Vidyartha College 27 (3T 3C 2P) beat St. Joseph’s College 22 (3T 2C 1P)

  • NDB Bank Player of the Match :- Rusith Thamodya (VCK)

Points Breakdown

St. Joseph’s College : Ivano White 2C 1P, Vishika Fernando 2T, Induwara Rodrigo 1T


Vidyartha College : Rusith Thamodya 3C 2P, Gayan Perera 1T, Tharusha Punsara 2T