S. Thomas’ forging ahead, powered by Browns Exide

Friday, 17 June 2016 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



The S. Thomas’ College Mount Lavinia (STC) rugby team has been riding the crest of the wave this season. Captained by Pandula De Silva, the Thomians are strong title contenders for the Singer league championship. This year S. Thomas has been powered by the No. 1 market leader, Browns Exide, a Flagship Brand in the Browns Group of companies.image-1

The outstanding performance of the 1st XV has resulted in STC remaining unbeaten thus far this season and while at it, bagging all trophies on offer, a tremendous achievement that has taken place after a lapse of 16 years. The Thomians started of the season on a winning note when they triumphed at the all island schools sevens championships which STC won after 22 years.  In addition, they regained the Michael Guneratne trophy beating Royal 21-15, the Canon R S De Saram shield against Trinity 23-20 and the Lady Jayathilake trophy beating St Joseph’s 32-3. They also retained the Sir Oliver Gunathilake trophy beating Wesley 19-0, and the Archibald Perera trophy beating St Peter’s 36-13.

In the match against Science College last week, S. Thomas’ won the match displaying a super performance, whipping Science College with a whopping 31-0 score. Unbeaten thus far, S. Thomas’ will be facing yet another unbeaten side, Isipathana College at their final match in the league.

Warden of S. Thomas’ College, Rev Marc Billimoria commenting on the performance of the Thomian rugby team had this to say, “Our boys are winners on and off the field. I congratulate our team on their achievements and their combined effort in winning against Science College. We have witnessed a great display of College spirit and my sincere appreciation goes out to all concerned including all our sponsors, especially our Principal Sponsor, Browns Exide, for partnering Thomian rugby.”

Ishara Nanayakkara, Executive Chairman, Brown & Company PLC, impressed with the young lads of the S. Thomas’ Rugby Team who finished off the game in style emerging as winners, stated: “I am proud and pleased on behalf of Browns to have decided to invest in them. It takes a lot of dedication, hard work and commitment to balance sports, life and study. My heartiest congratulations, not just on the significant victory by the team, but on the legendary Thomian spirit of the players and supporters.” Looking back on the history of S. Thomas’ Rugby, it all started way back in 1955 when the famous Justice Noel Gratien witnessed a group of young promising and enthusiastic players and was instrumental in convincing the then Warden Canon R.S. de Saram to start up Rugby at the College.

The team at the time, fondly known as ‘Thomian Tigers’ played their first official game in 1955 against Trinity College, Kandy at Longdon Place, Colombo 7. Vice-Captain S. B. L. Perera had the honour of leading the first Thomian team as K. S. Anandan the captain of the team, unfortunately took ill. Some of the key players to name a few; Gamini Weerakoon, P. B. Jayasekara, Ifthikar Cader, Rodney Ingleton, Michael Tissera, Sudath Weerasuriya, Patchy Bulankulame, Rohantha de Silva, Lester Schockman, Tissa Molligoda, Errol Jacotine, Phan Dias and Dan Piachaud.

Under the guidance and coaching of Mahes Rodrigo the Ceylon rugby captain, the S. Thomas’ Rugby team made their grand debut and played with gallant determination, giving Trinity a tough opponent to play against. The experience gained that day on that field, was pivotal in the fruition of what S. Thomas’ Rugby is today and has risen to the top rungs of schools in Sri Lanka.

There was no looking back from then on for the S. Thomas’ team. They went on to defeat St. Peter’s on their home grounds in 1955 and thereafter winning the next two matches against Wesley and St. Joseph’s. A great demonstration of the legendary Thomian grit has been witnessed right throughout. Due credit should also go to all the coaches and team management, as they’ve constantly proven that they can pick talent and create remarkable players.