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Pat’s break 30-year drought

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Patrician Brothers' College Fairfield celebrate the big win in the Peter Mulholland Cup. Photo: Guy Zangari MP
Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield celebrate the big win in the Peter Mulholland Cup. Photo: Guy Zangari MP

By Tasmyn Haynes

Patrician Brothers’ College Fairfield pulled off a fairytale ending in the Peter Mulholland Cup (NSW/VIC/ACT) Rugby League competition, defeating The Hills Sports High 20-16 in the grand final.

Their army of fans included an elated Tony Farley, the Executive Director of Sydney Catholic Schools.

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Down 16-0 early in the second half, the Pats team put on a guts and glory display that saw them surge home with minutes to go and win the title against the toughest of teams,” Mr Farley said.

“It was great to be there and congratulations to the legendary Pat’s team, their coaching staff and supporters who made it such a memorable day.”

Pat’s last won the premiership trophy in 1992, defeating Harristown State High School Toowoomba by just one point.

They entered the 2022 Peter Mulholland Cup (NSW/VIC/ACT) grand final fresh off the back of a nail-biting 19-18 win against their Fairfield archfoe Westfield Sports High School, scoring all of their tries in the second half of the grand final to pull off a dramatic, emotional victory.

“All year we have been the underdogs, [coming] into the grand final as the one percenters,” remarked Player of the Match, Patrician Brothers’ second-row lock Joshua Alhazim.

“Without God’s blessing and the opportunity of attending such a great school we wouldn’t have won. Everything we have done over the last two years has led us to this point”

“I nearly lost my life but, praise be to God, I’m here with my family and friends to witness history in the making.”

For head coach, former NRL star Frank ‘The Tank’ Pritchard, the victory at Leichhardt Oval tasted particularly sweet.

That is because COVID-19 left Pritchard in a coma on New Year’s Eve and he had to fight his way back to health.

“I nearly lost my life but, praise be to God, I’m here with my family and friends to witness history in the making,” Pritchard said.

“The boys don’t even know what it means to the school and to the Old Boys who were here today.”

Even in the face of adversity Pritchard continued to train his players and successfully steered them to the grand final of the revamped NRL Schoolboy Cup.

Pritchard thanked his coaching staff – Bill Bourke, Bethany Neaves, Lisa Coluccio, Joshua Morgan and Andrew Khanano – for their “commitment and dedication to training our boys” this football season.

“I’m so incredibly proud of our young men and coaching staff; the way they’ve shown their tenacity and dedication, training up to three days a week even through the school holidays,” Peter Wade, the Principal of Patrician Brothers’ College, said.

Patrician Brothers will now travel to Queensland to play the Phil Hall Cup champions, Ipswich Sports High School, in the National Schoolboy Cup Championship on Wednesday, 14 September at Redcliffe Dolphins Stadium.

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