St. Joseph’s College managed to overcome a real challenge by the Zahirian’s at Maradana, earlier today in the Singer Schools Rugby League. After leading 19 points to nil in the first-half, the game ended 26 – 12 in favour of St. Joseph’s.
Zahira’s Minhaj Samsudeen kick-started the game deep inside the Josephian half intending to put the visitors in a tight spot early on. Both teams showed a sense of urgency in the first ten minutes, trying to run the ball from their own halves, resulting in no early scores.
However, in the 11th minute, when the Zahirian fly-half, Rahuman Booso attempted to kick his side out of jail, it back-fired against them allowing the visitors to counter. After cleanly collecting and distributing the ball to the winger Tharindu Maduranga of St. Joseph’s College opened the scoring as he sprinted his way over the line in the far corner. Skipper, Sameesha Virangana failed to add the extras. (SJC 5 – 0 ZC)
As the game progressed towards its second quarter, the Joe’s defensive skills were put to test. Zahira made hit after hit inside the Josephian half trying to breach their defence line, but failed. Samsudeen had the opportunity to convert a penalty to points in the 15th minute, but his kick drifted away from the uprights leaving Zahira scoreless in the first-half. (SJC 7 – 0 ZC)
St. Joseph’s had to almost settle with the seven points going into half-time, but fortunately were able to score two back-to-back tries in the 33rd and 35th minutes of the game. The Zahirian winger had a horrid time in the back line as he isolated himself with three Josephian defenders trying to win the ball, which they ultimately did and managed to score through big number eight, Tharindu De Alwis. A minute later, the nippy scrum-half, Rashane Gunawardana, scored a brilliant try from the restart after the Zahirian winger was caught napping in the back line. Virangana successfully added the extras putting SJC in the driver’s seat.
Half Time : SJC led 19 – 00 ZC
The Saints started the final half of the game with a well-executed try. After a good passage of play, Dulanjana Piyatissa touched down in the far corner. Virangana made a peach of a kick as the ball sailed straight through the uprights. That was the Josephian’s last try, as the momentum shifted towards the hosts there-on. (SJC 26 – 00 ZC)
The Zahirians were giving it their all, stealing lineouts, winning scrums and winning at the breakdowns. Skipper Muammar Deen once again managed to give the Zahirian fans a glimpse of hope after he sliced through the middle of the Joes defence line and scored under the post. (SJC 26 – 7 ZC)
Zahira displayed a better game as they managed to score two tries in reply to Joes one try in the second-half. Mohomed Anasdeen scored Zahira’s second, in the last-minute of the game, after making a dashing run over the whitewash. Referee Aruna Shantha blew the final whistle as Samsudeen’s kick went off target. (SJC 26 – 12 ZC)
A controversial situation arose after Zahira Head Coach Shamly Nawaz was shown a yellow card by the Referee in the first half. Although it was a good game of rugby between the two schools, some situations could have been avoided.
Full Time: Zahira College 12 (2T, 1C) lost – 26 St. Joseph’s College (4T 3C)
- ThePapare.com’s Player of the Match: Amjad Fawmy (ZC)
Points Breakdown – ZC
Tries: Muammar Deen & Mohammed Anasdeen
Conversions: Minhaj Samsudeen
Bookings: Rushdi Abdeen
Points Breakdown – SJC
Tries: Tharindu Maduranga, Tharindu De Alwis, Dulanjana Piyatissa, Rashane Gunawardana
Conversions: Sameesha Virangana (3)
Bookings: Pavindu Dilshan