St. Peter’s College probably produced the worst display of rugby seen this season by a top division team as they played to lose by a mile against what appeared to be a simple but rejuvenated table underdog S. Thomas’ College which won 25-17 their inter-school League match at Bambalapitiya on Saturday.
There were three coaches on the Peterite bench but the home team played as if they were a coach-less drifting ship. Collectively they were never in the game compared to the Thomians who perhaps sensed their host took it for granted that the match was a walk in the park.
For the Thomians it was one big party celebration after the match and deserved all the glasses that may have been raised in their honour, for they stuck to a mere basic plan while the Peterites were embarrassingly playing second fiddle unable to even keep to the fundamental aspects of play against an opponent that few people wanted to see before the start of play.
But while the Thomians played with purpose and poise even while being down 8-17 at one stage early in the second half having basic control of the ball, the Peterites could only come tantalizingly close to scoring but blew everything up most of the time often penalized by the referee or squandering valuable possession with some awkward ball handling.
Another factor that went against the Peterites was their pathetic and lethargic tackling of the Thomian runners who in contrast were quick to move up and break many backline moves by the home side.
Losing their gutsy fullback Diyath Fernando through a concussion late in the first half was the last thing the Peterites may have wanted looking back at how the rest of the team played.
The Peterites threw in their last recourse in Kevin Dixon fifteen minutes before the end but that was too late as the dusky centre could barely have any time to read the match situation and when he did run he covered no more than a few feet, brought down by an ever alert Thomian defence.
Surprisingly the Thomian forwards who were out-shoved at the start bravely stood up to the occasion and in the second half played as the better pack on the loose and in the mauls and line-outs.
Thomian Number Eight and pack leader Sachithra Jayatilleke showed what a player he could be as names in the opposing camp did not matter to them.
He ended by making a huge difference scoring two tries at decisive moments of the game.