Peterites have the flair but Joes no pushovers | Sunday Observer

Peterites have the flair but Joes no pushovers

3 September, 2023

High-riding St. Peter’s College will be up against St. Joseph’s College, a foe they know too well but yet cannot be certain the match would be a cakewalk when the two schools meet in the semi finals of the Dialog inter-school knock-out rugby championship at Havelock Park today.

On a personal note the match is also played for the Fr. Basil Wiratunga trophy in honour of the late educationist clergyman.

The Peterites with the leadership of flanker Ashain Madugaspe have an unblemished record this season and yet to go down to any side and move out having to fulfill high expectations of their adoring supporters.

Much will depend on their famed backline made up of cricketer turned scrum half Shalith Gallage, fly half Windya de Mel, the two centers Sudesh Jayawickrama and Yumeth Shihara, the speedy wingers Vishenka Silva and Pasindu Thakshila and their full back Kushan Tharindu with his booming kicks to touch and his safe collections under pressure.

Their ever-reliable forwards spearheaded by crack flankers Madugaspe, Aiden Fernando, prop forwards Ranithu Ridmal, Jehan Weerabangsa, number eight Dulaj Navodya and second row forward Shenuka Perera will also have much to do.

“Even though St. Joseph's could not fare well this year I will not underestimate them, especially their playmaker Naveen Marasinghe.

“Their forwards can get together and play very well. Their scrum half is a good player and their speedy three-quarter line is playing very good rugby.

“But we are going for a double this time,” said St. Peter’s coach Sanath Martis with already the league title under his belt.

It will be a do-or-die battle for the Joes and defeat will make them bow out empty-handed having being touted as one of the better teams at the start of the season.

"St. Peter's have the potential to pile up the pressure to beat us. But as the underdog team we are not under heavy pressure to reach the final and that puts us in a situation to go in for something before we can end the season well. We are surely going for it,” said Joes coach Nilfer Ibrahim.

St. Peter’s College (Probable XV):

Ranithu Ridmal, Januka Ranasinghe, Jehan Weerabangsa, Sadev Gamage Shenuka Perera, Aiden Fernando Ashain Madugaspe (Captain), Dulaj Navodya, Shalith Gallage, Windya de Mel, Vishenka Silva, Sudesh Jayawickrema, Yumeth Shihara, Pasindu Thakshila, Kushan Tharindu

St. Joseph’s College (Probable XV):

Jehan Athukorale, Chamod Kavindhya, Sandesh Induwara, Ayeshan Lanka, Janith Marasinghe, Vishika Fernando, Sachinthana Waidyarathne, Naveen Marasinghe (Captain), Vihanga Randeepa, Senuja Geeran, Ivano White, Shanuka Alahakoon, Tharusha Jayasuriya, Randika Dahamjaya