UTS, Australia crowned SPC Centenary International U20 Rugby Sevens winners

St. Peter’s College Centenary International U-20 Rugby 7s 2023

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University of Technology Sydney, Australia beat St. Peter’s College Colombo 40-05 in the Cup Finals of the SPC Centenary International Under-20 Rugby Sevens on Sunday 15th October at the SPC Sports Complex in Bambalapitiya.

Dubai College (A) laid their hands on the Plate Championship while Zahira College Colombo clinched the Bowl.

The sun was shining as bright as ever at Bambalapitiya on day one of the tournament on Saturday but the second day saw heavy rain pouring all over Colombo and left the grounds with soggy underfoot conditions. As the day proceeded the skies cleared up and it was picture-perfect conditions for some good running rugby later in the day.

UTS Australia completely annihilated the hosts and firm tournament favorites, St. Peter’s College as the lads from the land down under took a commanding 21-5 lead at lemons. The Solitary try for the home side was scored by Dulaj Navodya who was recently awarded as the most outstanding player of the Under 18 Western Province Rugby Tourney. Incidentally, the Peterites defeated the same opposition in their group stage clash played under the scorching hot sun on day 1. However, the Oz lads came in all guns blazing to record a sweet revenge victory in the grand finale to stamp their class against Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Champions in their own backyard.

Cometh the hour cometh the man, Dellacruz Paita of UTS-Australia was adjudged as the Most Valuable Player of the tournament. When times were tough for his team, Paita struck like thunder to turn the tide to attack at the right time.

Four International teams from Bahrain, Malaysia, Australia, and Dubai (UAE) along with top as well as up-and-coming teams from Sri Lanka took part in the 2-day tournament. Players and officials of the University of Technology Sydney, Gordon Rugby Football Club New South Wales, Bahrain RFC, and Negeri Sembilan Rugby, Malaysia were all hosted by the organizing committee during their stay in Colombo.

A tourney of this caliber was organized after a hiatus of many decades in the island nation, giving valuable game time and exposure to the budding young guns of future Sri Lanka rugby and the visiting nations too.

Referees from the Sri Lanka Society of Rugby Football Referees, along with four overseas referees officiated the tournament which is sanctioned by the Sri Lanka Schools Rugby Football Association and the Ministry of Education. A total of 33 matches were played throughout the course of the action-packed rugby weekend.

The tournament is organised by St. Peter’s College and the SPC Rugby Development Committee headed by its youngest-ever elected Chairman Samson Roy in line with the celebration of 100 years of Peterite excellence in Sri Lanka. The school has done yeoman service to the nation producing gentlemen par excellence with Rugby Football having a special place amongst its fraternity. The Bamba Brigade St. Peter’s College has been involved with ‘The Game Played in Heaven’ for 91 years since its humble beginnings in 1932, becoming one of the first five schools to take up the game alongside Kingswood, Trinity, Royal, and Zahira.

The grand successful event was conducted under the watchful eyes of the Tournament Director, the veteran ex-Sri Lanka, Isipathana, and top-class referee + educator Dilroy Fernando.