Dharmaraja bravely withstood a final determined effort by Peterites, who camped in Rajan territory for almost the entirety of the second half, who despite their desparate drive couldn’t find the way through to the goal line.Having led 17-12 at lemons, the Rajans came through 24-17 after having repulsed wave upon wave of attacks. The winners obtained their points through three goals and a penalty as opposed to two tries and a goal.
As has become customary, the Rajans asserted their dominance early through a Tilina Wijesinghe penalty. It took the Peterites about 18 minutes to enter Rajan territory and when they did, they scored with Kevin Dickson forcing his way over the line.
The Peterite lead was short-lived as the prolific full back Wijesinghe chipped, the full back didn’t collect clean, the boot was applied and Wijesinghe followed up to lay his hand on the ball. It was 10-5 with the conversion.
Skipper Rochana Hettiarachchi, who was in the thick of things, made a move along the left touch line and then passed inside for Manushka Kumara to touch down. Shallon Direckze, of the long loping strides, finished off a slick Peterite move to score a try that was converted (17-12 at the break). The Peterites missed two penalties at this stage. One was sitter and the other quite kickable.
Rajan Center Buvaneka Udangamuwa manufactured a try by fighting and clawing his way through the Peterite defence. Wijesinghe obliged once again and the score was 24-12 in favour of the home side.
Substitute winger Akila Ranchigoda, who impressed one and all by his speed, now made his play with a strong run down his flank. The ball was switched around and lock Timothy Alles was over the line. This, as well as another conversion, were missed and these should have been points on the board.
When all’s said and done, credit is due to the Rajans for having repulsed so many attacks and having stood their ground. Never, this season, have they been subjected to such pressure.
Rajans this year are coached by one of the best products of Dharmaraja and one time Sri Lanka captain Radhika Hettiarchchi.
Match was played at Bogambara Stadium before a large crowd on 3nd May 2013.
Referee: Dilroy Fernando.