The Sundaytimes Sri Lanka

Husky St. Joseph’s pummel S. Thomas’


Josephian skipper Yohan Keyzer is not yielded by the tackle of Thomian Naheel Zainudeen at Longdon Place yesterday. – Pic by Ranjith Perera

Husky St. Joseph’s pummelled a relatively fragile yet gritty S. Thomas’ to score a commanding 37-26 win and retain the Lady Jayatilleke Shield in their traditional rugby encounter played at Longdon Place yesterday.

Both the Josephians and Thomians were equally good at loose play but relatively the former was much stronger than the latter. The Josephians had bigger players than their opponents and in addition clearly exposed their experience playing against tougher opponents in the Division I A. S. Thomas’ who had a successful season in the Division I B segment had all their odds in proper slots but lacked the finishing touches.

The team of Darley Road led by bulky No.8 Yohan Keyzer scored from seven tries and a conversion after leading at half time by 22-14 while lock Jason Melder and winger Shehan de Silva played a leading role with two tries each. The Seaside Boys led by Randika Alwis made their points from four tries and three conversions but bulk of the hard work was done by flyhalf Devin Jayasinghe who scored 11 points, winger Danoj de Silva who scored two tries and No.8 Naheed Zainudeen.

St. Joseph’s deputy skipper and lock Jason Melder who scored twice made the initial breakthrough with a with an unconverted try in the early minutes winger de Silva responded with his first try which was put over by Jayasinghe. Flyhalf Rehan Thyagaraja who had an off day with his kicking scored the second try which was unconverted for St. Joseph’s from a scrum and a brilliant punt. Shehan de Silva made a solo effort after receiving the ball off a ruck to score his first try as Thyagaraja made his only successful conversion off seven attempts to give the Joes a 17-7 lead. No.8 Jamaldeen made a few dummies after he picked a neat pass from a maul to score under-the-post as Jayasinghe’s conversion put S. Thomas’ back in the fray as they trailed by 14-17.

The Thomians had a golden opportunity to expand their lead but the unsuspecting Josephian flyhalf Janith Chanaka, turned the fortune onto their court. He blazed from their own five towards the scoring line to make a neat offload to scrumhalf Shamilka Kurubulapitiya who did the rest to give the winners a 22-14 lead at half time.

After the short whistle St. Joseph’s added two more unconverted tries from Melder who broke off a maul and centre Dinesh de Silva who received the ball after a clean line-work to make it 32-14. Thomian deputy skipper Devin Jayasinghe then made a brilliant three-quarter move after winning a scrum as they closed in by 32-21 but winger Shehan de Silva made a solo effort minutes later to hop in and score a try far right. With just minutes away Thomian centre Danoj de Silva scored the final try of the encounter after the ball was fed to him by Jayasinghe off a ruck to end the game at 37-26 in favour of the Josephians. Gamini Indrasena refereed.

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