Chin up ‘Thora’

“It doesn’t really matter whether you win or lose the game; what counts is how you played the game.” Coming into this game as the underdogs, Chariya and his young Thomian side kept their spirits up as they fought hard against a renowned and experienced Pathanian squad.”

Thomian Rugby was off to a rough start this season as they were defeated in their first three outings. Well, this didn’t stop them from training harder and experimenting with new strategies. Mr. Shamly Navas, a Pathanian himself worked together with the boys to help them get back on track and of course, their hard work paid as they triumphed over opponents such as St. Anthonies, Kingswood and St. Peter’s Colleges which ultimately earned College a spot in the ‘knock-outs’. Perhaps their only hope of redemption.

Having beaten Vidyartha College, who had surprisingly tormented the Giants (Isipathana) certainly gave Chariya and his team a lot of confidence going into the next game. However, several players including Jonathan Bulathsinghala and Captain Chariya Kurukulasooriya sustained injuries on their shoulders while a few others were subject to minor injuries.

Well-wishers of the school have often highlighted the improved style of practice adopted by the new coaching staff as it has proved to be successful and effective. A lack of match-practice and training sessions throughout the past Covid threatened years, has negatively affected the team and has not trained them to apply themselves on the field.

The Thomians gave a gritty fight even though the Pathanians were able to get the better of our boys. The young Devshan Navaratne, a former ruggerite of Prep school took the spotlight in this game. Devshan is recognized as one of the fittest players in our squad and yes it was pretty evident at their last outing. The young lad who was overshadowed by the others at first, rose to the occasion and kept the Pathanians on their feet and perhaps took them by surprise.

The Thomians were unable to break through the strong defense of the Pathanian side. Hence the men in green took the upper hand and were able to speedily pick up 28 points out of which 20 were out of tries. The Thomian defense was able to curtail any further damage. Mahith Perera, Devshan Navaratne and Akira Perera were able to add pressure on the opponent and collect 13 points. The efforts of Chariya Kurukulasooriya , Janidhu Dela and Viyaan De Silva ensured that Pathana could not add to that scoreboard. Well, that is what we term ‘Thomian Grit’; at no point in time do we give up.

“Glad that ‘Thora’ understands what a game is really about,” said Roel Raymond, a popular social activist. Thomians have always been taught to carry themselves well both on and off the field and maintain their reputation as gentlemen. What happened on the field that afternoon was not expected nor did it reflect true sportsmanship. Certain biassed decisions were made, at least from a spectator’s point of view. But, we Thomians do accept that we could’ve done better.

“Chin up, Thora!” cried the Legion. Despite being deemed to be the weaker side and the jeering of the crowd our men were able to stand still and play the game they know. It was noticed that there were incidents of unnecessary aggression on the field specifically when the Thomian side got the better of their opponent. We may not have won the game and even went on to lose our spot in the league, but certainly won many hearts by showcasing the virtues of true sportsmanship which goes beyond ‘doing all it takes to win’. Instead, we stand as a testament to the world as to how any team must embrace defeat and respect their opponent irrespective of the circumstances.

‘We have learnt when fortune frowns;
How to take defeat’