Wesley College Colombo, enjoyed their finest moment on the rugby field when they came up with a stupendous performance to score a majestic 34 – 21 win over Trinity College Kandy to clinch the Milo President’s Knock Out Trophy in the final played before a mammoth crowd at the Royal Sports Complex on Sunday. After being led 8 – 13 at the breather, the lads from Campbell Park turned in a dazzling display to completely outplay the Trinitians in the second half. They scored three scintillating tries within eight minutes. through lanky Winger Ishaq Jurangpathy, Hooker Thisara Maduwanwantha and Fly Half Joel Tillekeratne which took away the game from the Trinitians. They put the icing on the cake. in the ’14th minute of the second half with another grand try by Centre Ishara Madushan to not only give them the President’s Trophy, but also helped to avenge the 19 – 22 defeat suffered at the hands of the Trinitians in the league game. It was a marvellous display by the Wesleyites who came into the game as underdogs. The Wesleyites started off the knockout tournament with a stunning 20 – 17 win over the formidable Science College in the quarter finals and followed it up with a grand 22 – 13 win over segment one ‘A’ division league champions Dharmaraja College in the semi finals to storm into the finals for the third time in their history.
The Wesleyites first entered the President’s Trophy final in 2002 under the leadership of Lahiru Boteju before losing to Zulki Hamid’s invincible Royal team by 16 – 25 and two years later, they entered the final again before losing to traditional rivals Kingwood by ’13 – 31. It was in 2002 that Wesley beat Trinity by 21-0 in the very first match of the season at Longden Place. Incidentally, the Wesleyites began the 2013 league tournament on a grand scale beating Isipathana ( 23 – 21), St.Joseph’s ( 38 – 24) and St.Anthony’s ( 32 – 17 ) but could not maintain the momentum losing to Royal by (12 – 30), Trinity, (19 – 22) and also being held to an eight all draw by Kingswood and also suffered a 24 – 36 defeat at the hands of Dharmaraja before losing to St.Peter’s in the third place decider having got the better of Science in the penultimate game to finish in fourth position in the Singer segment one ‘A’ division league tournament.
Number Eight Gavin Siegertsz was the keyman in Wesley’s formidable pack who scored a grand try in only the second minute of the final having also scored a try against the formidable league champions Dharmaraja. He was a source of inspiration to his teammates and was ably supported by Lasitha Randheera, Sithum Peiris, Thisara Madhuwantha, Buddhi de Soyza, Ishan Hamidon,Hirantha Liyanagoda and that fierce tackler Joel Perera as the Wesley eight outplayed their counterparts in the loose. Skipper Rahul de Silva operating from the base of the scrum, had a grand game and hit it off smoothly with Fly Half Joel Tillakaratne.
Centres Madushan and Namal Rajakaruna and Wingers Ishaq Junrangpathy and Sajith Ariyawansa punched holes in the Trinity defence with their daring runs while Full Back Lahiru Madushanka too joined the line to form the overlap on several occassions to fox the Trinity defence time and again.
The man who brought about this remarkable change in Wesley’s fortunes this year is former Wesley , CR and FC and Havelocks Prop Forward Henry Terrance who took great pains to mould a champion outfit which brought honour and fame to their school by emerging President’s Trophy Champions.
Wesley College which started rugby in the 1950s has produced several ruggerites who have represented Sri Lanka with distinction Cavern Gauder, Reginald Bartholomeusz, Zubair Doray, Ransiri Sahabandu, Kishan Musafer,Kasun de Silva, Niroshan Karunanayake, Samantha Lakshan, Niranjan Wickramaratne, Henry Terrence are some of the players who have represented the country.