Vidyartha stun St. Peter’s in wet conditions

Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022

Pumuditha De Silva

St. Peter’s College suffered an unexpected defeat over a resurgent Vidyartha College 11 points to 7 in their second-week encounter of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022 played at Nittawela on Sunday.

Vidyartha College started the proceedings and the Peterites immediately made a mistake while collecting the ball off the kick as they took the ball over their try line and had to concede a 5-meter scrum in the first minute. Big bulky no 08 Ranidu Gajanayake superbly blasted through three Peterite defenders from the 5-meter scrum to score the opening try.

The visitors were scrappy throughout the game as they made a lot of unforced errors especially whilst collecting the high balls and their main mode of attack – the lineouts didn’t function properly. To make things worse, St. Peter’s lost their lock forward Ramuthu Niranjan to the sin bin and had to defend with 14 players in the last ten minutes of the first half.

Rainy conditions meant that a lot of handling errors were made by both teams. The home team had a few opportunities to increase their lead, but they couldn’t get the maximum out of those chances as they had to settle for the 5-nil lead at the break.

Half Time: Vidyartha College 05 (1T) – St. Peter’s College 00

Vidyartha continued to more pressure on the Peterites as they leaked a penalty at the beginning of the second half as Menuka Thilakarathna slotted over a penalty to put Vidyartha ahead by eight points.

The Peterites didn’t adapt to the conditions as they kept making unforced errors and Niranjan was penalized yet again for an offside infringement as Thilakarathna added another easy three-pointer for the home team. (VCK 11-00 SPC)

The Peterites kept losing their plot as a key forward, Chanupa Cooray was sent to the sin bin for a dangerously high tackle. Thilakarathna had the opportunity to seal the game but his penalty kick went astray.

The momentum slightly changed when Vidyartha lost Sachira Kodituwakku and Vimantha Senevirathne to the naughty chair in quick succession as the hosts were down to 13 players. The Peterites took the maximum advantage to send Vishenka Silva over for a try in the corner after some neat passing by Rajith Ekanayake in the dying stages of the game. Emith Jayaweera added the extras quickly.

St. Peter’s had one last opportunity to hit back but Vidyartha held on to record the first big upset of the Dialog Schools Rugby League 2022.

Full Time: Vidyartha College 11 (1T,2P) – St. Peter’s College 07(1T,1C)

NDB Player of the Match: Deshan Balasooriya (Vidyartha College)

Score Breakdown

Vidyartha College: (5) 11

Try: Ranidu Gajanayake Pens: Menuka Thilakarathna 2

St. Peter’s College: (0) 07

Try: Vishenka Silva; Cons: Emith Jayaweera