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The history of the Joe-Pete Rugby Encounter

Posted on 18 January 2017 by admin

The History of the Joe-Pete Rugby Encounter – By Umhar Samsudeen

Joe-Pete RugbyThe Josephian – Peterite rugby encounter runs down to a proud history of 50 years.

Since its inception in 1955, the Joes have met the Petes on 51 occasions, out of which the Peterites have turned out victorious on 34 instances and the Joes managing to win only 12 games while the other 5 games ended up being drawn.

In the very 1st encounter between the schools in 1955 since the introduction of rugby at StJoseph’s by the very first Sri Lankan rector at St.Joseph’s Rev.Fr.Peter Pillai, the Peterites under the captaincy of Desmond Euphraims managed to win the game 3- 0 against Mahendra Dias’ Josephian outfit. The Josephians tasted victory for the very first time in 1958 when they beat the Peterites 13-0 under the leadership of C.J.Rajaratnam.

From there on they managed to win the games played in 1960, 1961 and 1962 which incidentally is their longest winning streak.

In 1963 a trophy was initiated as The Rev.Fr.Basil Wiratunga trophy. It was introduced by Mr. Carlo Martin a master at of St.Peter’s College. The captains being Stephen Alagaratnam and the Josephian captain being Ranjith Abeyratne who later went on to be a judge of the Supreme Court.

Since then the Josephians have managed to win the games played in 1968, 1978, 1983, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1998 and the last victory being in 1999. The highest score ever made by the Josephians were 27 – 03 which is incidentally the highest victory margin against the Peterites in a rugby match which is 24 points were also made in 1999 under the captaincy of Lakshitha Gunaratne who is the son of former Sri Lanka and Police rugby legend Rohan Gunaratne.

In the past the Josephians have had the privilege of having players in the likes of late Major Gen. Janaka Perera, brothers Nalin and Shamin Perera, Dinuk De. S.Wijeratne and Dhanushka Perera.

There have been 5 outings where there was no love lost between the two sides of which the first being in 1959 which ended up in an exciting draw with 3 points a piece. The encounter has ended in a 3 all draw on another two occasions which were in 1969 and 1992.

In 1980 the game had ended in a thrilling 6 all draw. Finally, when the Peterites were led by star winger Mohamed Renaz and the Joes taking the field under the captaincy of Rukshan Perera ended in an electrifying 18 all draw at the Royal College sports complex in 2004.

When looking at the performances put up by the Peterites, they have showed much more prowesses compared to the Josephians at the game of rugby by winning 34 of the 51 games played. This can be further depicted when taking a look at the performance put up by the unbeaten Peterite team which was led by Ranuka Jayasinghe in 2007 where they made minced meat out of the Josephians by scoring as much as 8 goals and 17 tries to reach the milestone of 101 points against the solitary try scored by the Josephians to leave the scoreboard reading 101-05 at the CR&FC.

The Peterites now hold the trophy with them for 9 years in a row which is by the way the longest by either of the teams. One would wonder that from 1968 to 1978 is also 9 years, since the Jopsephians were unable to field rugby teams from 1975 to 1977, the trophy was held by the Peterites only for 3 years.

The longest winning streak for the Peterites has been 5 years successively which they have achieved twice from 1963 to 1967 and 1993 to 1997. The Peterites have had the luxury of players in the past in the caliber of Didacus De Almeida, Frank Hubert, Angelo Wickramaratne, Len De Silva, Dilanka Wijesekera and Mohamed Renaz are just a few of the great rugby player that have been part of the Joe-Pete rugby encounter in the past.

With both teams having ups and downs this season an exciting game is on the cards this year. Will Dilshan Paul’s boys be able to make it 5 in a row for the third time? Or will the lads from Darley road be able to hold the trophy after a 10 years streak?

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