S. Thomas’ College retained the Archibald Perera Memorial Trophy for the third consecutive year after a nail-biting draw against the much fancied St. Peter’s College outfit this evening at Bambalapitiya. After 80 minutes of pulsating rugby the game ended 25 all.

The teams took to the field under perfect conditions for rugby as Aaron Ferdinando kicked off the day’s proceedings for S. Thomas’ College. Thomians looked threatening early on with their backs creating a few chances and their forwards slowly gained some valuables yards. Those efforts got rewarded when the skipper Naveen Henakankanamage scored under the post from an attacking move initiated by the fly-half Lushantha Dabare opening up a gap in the Peterite defence and allowing his skipper to score an easy try. Ferdinando converted this under the post try to increase their lead. (SPC 00-07 STC)

St. Peter’s however were quick to reply with a penalty kick which they received when Thomian flanker Christian De Lile was penalized for not releasing the tackled player. With the absence of the regular kicker Stephan Sivaraj skipper Diyath Fernando took up the kicking duties for his side and he bisected the uprights to reduce the deficit. Skipper Fernando was then again at the thick of action when the Peterite hooker Julian Charles made a superb turnover and offloaded to the dangerous Theekshana Dassanayake to make some yards before spreading the ball wide to the skipper Fernando. He then kicked towards the try line and it was picked up by the winger Marc Assauw to touch down for the Peterites. Theekshana Dassanayake added the extras. (SPC 10-07 STC)

Soon after the try Peterites again attacked the Thomian defence but few handling errors denied the Peterites from scoring. S.Thomas’ lost a very important scrum just outside their own red zone as scrum half Dilshan Madushanka spotted that the ball was out from the scrum and spread the ball wide towards the makeshift winger Raveen Fernando to score the second try for the Peterites . Diyath Fernando couldn’t add the extra points from an easy angle. (SPC 15-07 STC)

In the dying stages of the first half Mayon Jayawardena scored an important try to reduce the deficit to just three points. S.Thomas’ scrum half Jaan De Soysa spotted a gap in the Peterite defence and offloaded it to Aaron Ferdinando and he made a brilliant offload as he sucked in the Peterite defender and passed it to Jayawardena to score. Ferdinando couldn’t convert this try. (SPC 15-12 STC)

Half Time – St.Peter’s 15 (2T, 1C, 1P) – 12 (2T, 1C) S.Thomas’

S.Thomas’ certainly didn’t have the best starts for the second half as the Peterites dominated the early proceeding and scored their third try. Speedster Diyath Fernando broke through the Thomian defence and took the option of a kick and chase but the S.Thomas’ defender obstructed Fernando and referee awarded a penalty to St. Peter’s. Madushanka took a quick tap and passed it to the young fly-half Suhail Fernando to score under the post as he powered himself over the Thomian defender. Dassanayake added the extras for the Peterites (SPC 22-12 STC)

After the early try conceded in the second half S.Thomas’ played a different game in the next 20 minutes as the momentum was with them. Their forwards made more than 10 phrases of attacks at the Peterite defence gaining more than 20 meters. Bulky prop Shenuka Perera scored through a pick and drive for the Thomians. Dion Dias made the crucial conversion. (SPC 22 -19 STC)

Thomas’ leveled the scores through a penalty when the Peterites were deemed offside by referee Aaqil Jamaldeen. Dias didn’t make any mistakes with his kick. St.Peter’s had opportunities to score but they couldn’t finish those promising moves and during the last ten minutes of the game Petes received an under the post penalty as the Thomian defence was offside and Theekshana Dassanayake bisected the uprights to put the home side to lead again. (SPC 25-22 STC)

Peterites made more handling errors than the Thomians and conceded more penalties too. Thomians again received a penalty for a high tackle made by the Peterites as referee Jamaldeen spotted this tackle and Dias bisected the uprights with ease to level the game at 25 each for the teams. Dias then again received an easy penalty and had the opportunity to win the game for his side but unfortunately the ball hit right upright and denied a Thomian victory. (SPC 25-25 STC)

Full Time – St.Peter’s 25 (3T, 2C, 2P) – 25 (3T, 2C, 2P) S.Thomas’

ThePapare.com Player of the match – Jason Karunarathna (St.Peter’s College)

Match referee – Aaqil Jamaldeen

ThePapare.com Player of the match Jason Karunarathna expressed his thoughts about the game “it was a close game we played really well in the first half and in the beginning of the second half but unfortunately we couldn’t win the game very disappointed about the result. We need to improve more and win these tight games”


The score breakdown

St.Peter’s College 25 (15) 3T, 2C, 2P
Tries: Marc Assauw, Raveen Fernando, Suhail Fernando
Conversions: Diyath Fernando, Theekshana Dassanayake
Penalties: Diyath Fernando, Theekshana Dassanayake

S.Thomas’ College 25 (12) 3T, 2C, 2P
Tries: Naveen Henakankanamage, Mayon Jayawardena, Shenuka Perera
Conversions: Aaron Ferdinando, Dion Dias
Penalties: Dion Dias (2)