Schools Rugby League 2022 – Div 1, 2nd Round
By Jason Perera
The firm favourites for the league title unbeaten Isipathana College Colombo edged out a fighting St.Joseph’s College Colombo by 16 points (1 try, 1 conversion, 3 penalties) to 13 (1 try, 1 conversion, 2 penalties) in their ‘A’ Division Schools Rugby League super round match played at Havelock Grounds on Sunday 07th August in front of a capacity crowd.
At half time Pathana led 7-0.
Pathana started off brilliantly, and raced to a score of 7 points to 0, with their flanker Hettiarachchi scoring a try in the sixth minute of the game. Rinesh Perera put over the conversion. Isipathana College forwards kept on attacking the Josephian goal line and virtually camped inside the 22 for the rest of the half but the strong defence put by St. Joseph’s College prevented any further scoring.
St. Joseph’s College barely got any opportunity to run as their key players were heavily marked by the Green Machine. Further two players from their back line got involved in a nasty head-on collision which resulted in both players leaving the field for medical attention. Isipathana College in spite of dominating the territorial and ball possession advantage was forced to go into halftime with a 7-0 lead.
After the turn around Pathana dominated the game with two penalties through Rinesh Silva to go into a further lead of 13-0. Joe’s did well to come back into the game with Replacement kicker Ruchitha Rodrigo converting two penalties to reduce the margin to 13-6. When it seemed Josephians were finally back to their rhythm of scoring Rinesh Silva extend the Pathana score to 16-6 when he fired across a successful penalty.
A couple of minutes from the final whistle in a dramatic turn of events, St. Joseph’s made a late rally through their burly number eight Naveen Marasinghe who powered his way to touch down for a try in a moment of sheer brilliance. Rodrigo put over the solitary conversion to cut down the lead to 13-16.
It was nervous final minutes for both sides, with Josephians trying to run the ball from their base to bring the play into opposition territory which was thwarted by Isipathanians. Isipathana succeeded in winning a penalty right at the stroke of the whistle, which they opted to kick out and seal the victory amidst the jubilation of home fans.
The final score stood at Isipathana College Colombo 16 points to St.Joseph’s College Colombo 13.
Referee: Gihan Yatawara.