Peterites secure back to back Knockout titles

Thenuka Nanayakkara’s penalty sealed the game and helped St Peter’s College defend the Milo Presidents Knockout trophy for the second consecutive year beating Wesley College by 18 points to 15. 

The defending champions started things off in fine fashion as they showed good composure in the early phases of the game. Thenuka Nanayakkara got them going with an easy penalty early on. The double blues conceded a few too many penalties in the first few minutes but managed to cut the deficit through a penalty from Tharidu Walpitage. 

There on, Wesley College started to dominate play. The tall and strong Samuel Ogbebor was playing out of his skin and single handedly took his side into the lead. His first try came from a 5m line out. They built up the phases and finally Ogbebor found the whitewash using his long leavers and upper body strength. Walpitage added the extras. 

Unfortunately, the double blues failed to hold on to the 7 point cushion. Walpitage’s lackluster clearance kick was blocked inside their own 5 meter and Shenol Silva managed to jump over the loose ball to score the first try for the Peterites. The try was a gift, but it was Wesley who dominated the first half and managed to find the try line once again. It was Ogbebor who outsmarted the defense as he took a quick tap inside the 5m and dragged his way over.  Unfortunately the conversion was astray but Wesley College did Not hold back. 

They came back hard once again and a few minutes later, Dexter Goonethilake’s inside pass opened up space through the middle for skipper Murshid Subair. He had Ogbebor on his right shoulder as he drew the final defender onto him and popped the pass to Ogbebor who uncharacteristically dropped the ball. There was no one but the try line in front of Ogbebor and this miss cost Wesley the game at the end. 

The second half was a drag. Fast paced rugby both teams showed in the first half was gone and the Peterites got back to their tried and tested method of using the forwards. Just like they did in the final last year, they showed composure and belief throughout the second half. Their execution was almost perfect and their discipline was top notch. They cut down the deficit through a try from Thenuka Nanayakkara. It was a turn over inside the 10m and the scattered defense of Wesley had no chance as Thenuka sold the dummy and touched down under the post. He managed to add the extras to make it 15 all. 

The Peterites were relentless and they were denied scoring on three occassions. First was when Raveen Fernando knocked it on inches from the try line. The other two were when Skipper Bilal Hilmy was held up inside the try line. However as time was running out, Thenuka opted to go for points after the Peterites won a penalty inside the 22m. The three points put them ahead in the game with 5 minutes of play left. 

Wesley managed to win a penalty from the restart and Walpitage opted to go for goal from 40m out and from a tight angle. He failed and the Peterites managed to hold on to the ball and secure the win. 

Full time: St Peter’s College 18 - Wesley College 15 


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