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Peterite/Trinity Rugby Encounters have been memorable over the years

Posted on 17 June 2014 by admin

Royal SPC RugbyA Sri Lankan sports journalist has listed some of the most memorable rugby battles between Trinity College and St. Peter's College.

The annual schools rugby fixture between St. Peter’s and Trinity is one of the oldest schools rugby matches and some of those memorable games are:

1956: At Bogambara Trinity led by David Frank and considered to be one of the strongest ever sides were held by the Peterites and with the game in the home stretch the score was nil all when disaster struck the Peterites as one of their players got injured and was carried off the field. The Peterites reduced to fourteen (no substitutions were allowed in that era) conceded seventeen points in the dying stages of the game.

1965: At Bambalapitiya the Peterite side led by the late Darrel Wimalaratne lost in a close game which was their only defeat of the season. They were the unofficial school champions.

Five players from that side including the captain himself went on to represent the Combined Colleges in their annual fixture against the University. The others were Royden de Silva, Hamzee Hameed, Ranjan Rajendran and Rodney Paternott.

1969: At Bambalapitiya the Peterites led by Sunil Perera (son of Archibald) confronted the unbeaten Trinity side. The Peterites took the lead and prevented Trinity from scoring but a penalty, late in the game by Shafi Jainudeen enabled them to squeeze out a draw and escape defeat.

1971: At Bambalapitiya a strong Trinity side that included a future Sri Lanka rugby captain Irwin Howie took what many thought was a convincing 11-0 lead at half time.

But St. Peter’s came back in the second half to equalize and force an honourable draw. For the Peterites it was like playing in two cup finals in one week for they met Issipatana on the Monday of the same week and were held to a five all draw. Jizvi Nizar captained the Peterites.

1972: At Nittawela on a Tuesday evening the Peterites considered the strongest schools side led by the irrepressible Jeffrey de Jong in a side that also included his brother Travis, Ronald Rodrigo, Noel Vanlangenberg, and Nimal Jayasuriya stunned the large crowd present with some superb rugby and with a 10-nil lead seemed to have the game under control but Trinity keeping to their “motto” ‘Respice Finem’ made a comeback to register another close victory.

The Peterites only defeat for that season was at the hands of Trinity. The Peterites were the schools unofficial champions.

1973: At Bambalapitiya Trinity were holding on to a one point lead and with the minutes ticking away the Peterites came storming into the Trinity 22 and were awarded a penalty. Here was the moment of truth for the Peterites since they still had to register a Post War victory. (a hoodoo).

Expectations were high but to the dismay of the Peterites the normally reliable Frankie Hubert’s kick hit the cross bar and with it the final whistle. A Peterite victory like the elusive dream had to wait for some unknown date in the future.

1984: At Bogambara St. Peter’s took an early lead through a fine try by their winger and held on to this lead till the very last moment when Trinity were able to score and seal victory.

It seems on that day that St. Peter’s were denied justice as the referee interpretation or either misinterpretation or sheer ignorance of the law on injury time was the contributory factor.

St. Peter’s didn’t have to wait long as in the following year 1985 they scored an 8-0 victory at Longden Place helped by two unconverted tries by Rovern Gunasekera and Crofton Joseph to break a 44 year old jinx.

It seems an irony of fate that the legendary Archibald Perera who coached generations of Peterite rugby players and when one speaks of Peterite rugby it is synonymous with Archie as he was affectionately called in his lifetime as coach never witnessed a Peterite victory over Trinity as he died in 1982.At the commencement of every season he would extol his charges with refrain “beat Trinity”.

It still echoes like music to the ears of those rugby players of the Golden Archie era when it was considered schools rugby’s biggest achievement for any school to beat Trinity.

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