Joes have a slight edge over Peterites | Daily News
2018 ‘Milo’ President trophy schools knock out tournament

Joes have a slight edge over Peterites

Kenneth Wimaladasa (Peterite Captain) and Sameesha Verangana (Josephian Captain)
Kenneth Wimaladasa (Peterite Captain) and Sameesha Verangana (Josephian Captain)

Defending champions St.Joseph College Maradana will go out all guns blazing to win the 2018 ‘Milo’ President trophy schools knock out final against arch rival and underdogs St.Peters College Bambalapitiya today at Race Course grounds due to kick off at 6:30pm under lights.

The Joes head into this championship as slight favourites as they dominated this tournament last year. Peterites has a reputation of giving the Josephians a hard time but the defending champions has the advantage over Peters as they won the league match this year between these two sides when they last met at Longden Place by 10 points to 5

St.Peter’s have shown tremendous improvement under the guidance of veteran Sanath Martis winning seven out of nine matches losing only to league champs Royal College and runners up St.Joseph during their school’s league rugby campaign and eventually finished in third place in the tournament’s standings.

St.Joseph's head coach Nilfer Ibrahim who is a past Kingswood College rugby player expects a tough encounter for his charges and highlighted his opponents’ prowess in defence.

Speaking exclusively to the Daily News he said “They have a very good forward pack and a three quarter line and they are overall a very good team in schools rugby at the moment, So we’ve got a huge challenge on our hands and one that we really wanted to face. It is going to be a close game and we expect a very good fight from them, but we will come out executing our plans l to be victorious in the end” concluded Nilfer. If Peters manage to beat St.Joseph in this match, they will end Joes hopes of winning the knock out cup championship for the second time in succession as they are the defending champions.

The match is a historic one for St.Peters too, as they became the first Peterite side to get in to school knock out championship after 2010. Incidentally they emerged joint champions with Royal that year under Keith Gurusinghe and what a co incident as that year Sanath Martis was the head coach of the victorious Peterite side.

For Peters their nippy scrum-half Jason Karunaratne will be highly motivated to do well against the defending champions. Karunaratne is blessed with a vast array of skills and that along with his crisp service to his outside backs makes him a danger in attack. He’s also a superb reader of the game and will not let his side down if he gets opportunities to score tries.

Also there will be lots of pressure on play maker cum captain fly-half Kenneth Wimaladasa when he takes on his opposition counterpart Santhush Algama in what should be an exciting duel. Although small in stature Wimaladasa has shown flashes of brilliance and his playmaking skills will have to be at their best if he wants to get the better of Algama, who seldom plays a poor game

Wimaladasa is regarded as one of the game’s best attackers and will be hoping to continue where he left off against Wesley College outfit in the Semi final match last week at Sugathadasa Stadium where he dished out a sensational game with his running rugby controlling the game well according to the situation as well as his fabulous kicking boot where he shocked the entire crowd with 100% accuracy.

Speaking to the Daily news Sanath Martis the veteran head coach of St.Peter’s College said “The fact is that rugby is a game in which teams make mistakes, so the team who tends to make less mistakes on that day will ultimately win the game . While wishing both teams for an exciting game of rugby, may the better team win the finals and become schools knock out champions for the 2018 rugby season. ” concluded Martis.

Predicting the outcome of today’s finals, former S.Thomas College Mount Lavinia rugby player, CR & FC rugby captain, Sri Lanka national player cum coach and the Sri Lanka rugby (SLR) president Asanga Seneviratne said “In the league I believe St. Josephs were really unlucky as they have lost only one game to league champs Royal. It’s going to be a close game, but my personal view is that St.Josephs might pull off a win. Any way since it’s going to be Joe-Pete big game and Peters goes as underdogs they can pull off a surprise, as underdogs always do well in international rugby arena as well” concluded Seneviratne.

St. Joseph’s College (Probable Team): Shavon Gregory, Theeraka Santhusa, Sonal Damian, Cheka Jayawardana, Nimesh Kavinda, John Ganegoda, Shehan Kelaniyagoda, Tharindu De Alwis, Rasen Gunawardena, Santhush Algama, Tharindu Maduranga, Sameesha Verangana (Captain), Gamunu Chethiya, K.D.Kavinda, Dulanjana Piyathissa

St. Peter’s College- (Probable Team): Abdulla Faiz, Julian Charles, Javindu Fernando, Nizran Nillar, Lankesh Perera, Yohan Fernando, Dayan Fernando, Billal Hilmy, Jason karunaratne, Kenneth Wimaladasa (Captain), Shenol Silva, Rukshan Madushanka, Dilshan Madushanka, Mark Assau, Shehan Liyanapathirana

Referee: Praneeth Weranga 


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