By M. Shamil Amit
Expect a blockbuster when traditional rivals St. Joseph’s College and St. Peter’s College lock horns in a crucial Inter-Schools ‘A’ Division League Rugby Tournament encounter at Longden Place today.
On paper the high riding St. Peter’s (who have won seven matches on the trot and are unbeaten so far) are the hot favourites.
But St. Joseph’s with six wins to their credit this season are capable of creating an upset.
In fact, the Josephians will be looking to repeat their last year’s performance and also to retain the Rev. Fr. Basil Wiratunge Memorial Shield.
This will be the 60th match in the series and the Peterites are well ahead with 40 wins as against to the 14 wins recorded by the Josephians.
Five matches ended in a draw while four matches were not played since the Shield was introduced in 1963.
St. Peter’s spearheaded by number eight Javed Zarook will no doubt pin hopes on playmaker and dual purpose player Julian Charles and full back Shehan Liyanapathirana who has been their leading points scorer.
The other players to keep an eye in the Peterite camp will be centre Sandesh de Mel, fly half Dilshan Madusanka, scrum half Jason Karunaratne and second row forwards Lankesh Perera and Nizrun Nilar.
St. Joseph’s Skipper and fly half Sameesha Virangana has a reliable player in centre Gemunu Chethiya who has been in top form having scored three triple tries.
The other top players in the side are number eight Tharindu de Alwis, flanker John Ganegoda, fly half Santhush Algama, centre Shan Akila, prop forward Shevon Gregory and wingers Keshan Kavinda and Tharindu Maduranga.