Sporting history created at SPC

October 9, 2018

A unique piece of sporting history will be created this weekend when St Patrick’s College becomes the first school in Australia to host a match in the National Rugby Championship.

The Melbourne Rising are going back to school this Sunday when they host the Sydney Rays in the National Rugby Championship at St Patrick’s College Ballarat.

It will be the first time a school in Australia has hosted such a match, creating another unique piece of sporting history for the school which is celebrating its 125th anniversary in 2018.

For the Rising, the chance to take the match to Ballarat reflects a conscious effort to spread the rugby gospel to regional areas.-

Players will feel right at home when they take to the field this Sunday, returning to the venue where they underwent their gruelling 2018 preseason camp.

-As part of the Rebels MOU with St Patrick’s Ballarat we are delighted to bring the game to the school and the community on Sunday,- said Rebels GM of Rugby, Nick Ryan.

-We feel a deep obligation to promote and grow the game, as much as achieve results on the field, and engagements such as Sunday’s game gives everyone a great opportunity to connect and influence the rugby community in Ballarat.-

Ryan was particularly impressed by the facilities on offer at St Patrick’s College, which will make a nice home for The Rising squad this weekend.

-In our pre – season camp we held at the school in January, we left very impressed with the facilities at the school and the leadership of its executive team and we look forward to continuing to support the students and the parents over the coming years with our association with the school and local community,- said Ryan.

Despite sitting at the bottom of the ladder, Rising Head Coach Eoin Toolan is cautious of the threats that the Sydney Rays pose.

-The Rays have several threats across the park who we have to be mindful of,- observed Toolan.

-Hugh Sinclair in the backrow is obviously a guy we know well after his time with The Rebels last year, and Wallaby Jack Dempsey has been impressive this campaign. He looks like he has recovered well from his hamstring injury. Together, they form a strong backrow.-

The opportunity to engage with the local community is an added bonus for The Rising squad.

-One of the things that we’ve enjoyed most as a team this year is the opportunity to take our games to regional areas. The facilities at St Pat’s are terrific and having the crowd up close to the sideline is something that will add a nice atmosphere to the game,- said Toolan.

-Having done our 2018 preseason Rebels camp in Ballarat, we know just how passionate the local community is about rugby. We actually trained up here in 40 degree heat back in January and still had a few hundred locals turn up to training, so I’m sure they’ll appreciate the cooler temperatures this Sunday.-

-For us, we really want to finish 2018 on a high. We feel like we’ve come a long way as a team this campaign and are looking forward to rewarding our fans with some entertaining rugby this weekend.-

The Melbourne Rising will take on the Sydney Rays at St Patrick’s Ballarat this Sunday at 1pm.

Gates open at noon and entry is free. Catering is available with hamburger and ice-cream vans and pizzas from The Forge Pizzeria available. The match will be broadcast live on FoxSports 3.

All members of our community are invited to attend.