Joes down Wesley 26-11 to emerge League runners-up
St. Joseph’s College emerged runners-up of the Inter-Schools Under-20 ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament when they defeated Wesley College 26-11 in the last Super Round encounter played at Havelock Park yesterday.
The Josephians, who were trailing 7-11 at half time, produced a superb second half performance to turn the game in their favour while collecting their points from three goals and one try while the Wesleyites responded with one try and two penalties.
Even then, St. Joseph’s were under pressure in the first half as Wesley looked well set to create an upset following some excellent rugby where they had plenty of possession in the loose.
In fact, Wesley drew first blood in the eighth minute of the game with a good 30 metre penalty from Shaveen Jayawardena after their backs had produced an excellent counterattack from their own territory.
However, St. Joseph’s were able to snatch the lead a few minutes later with a good push over try from flanker Jehan Athukorale after the forwards had won possession from a five-metre line-out.
But Wesley managed to obtain a great amount of territorial advantage through their dynamic fly half Jayawardena who responded with another penalty from 25 metres out.
The game took a complete change after the turnaround as St. Joseph’s went in desperate search of the four tries to dislodge Royal College from the second place of the Super Round points table.
The Joes knew exactly what their target was, and hooker Chamod Seneviratne barged over for their second try under the post to give Dilhara Subash an easy conversion.
Thereafter, number eight Naveen Marasinghe made amends for an earlier yellow card with his seventh try of the season by going over from a short tap. Time was almost running out for St. Joseph’s, but they managed to find that elusive fourth try and the bonus point shortly before the final whistle with flanker Sachinthana Vidyana going over the line after a five-metre scrum.