HE was best on ground on Saturday as St Pat's won the annual Brendon 'Stubby' Collits Memorial over Forbes Magpies, but Matt Ranse is hoping for bigger things in 2022.
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Ranse is hoping to mark his third season in the blue and white by playing in the finals series of the inaugural Peter McDonald Premiership.
A competition formed by the merger of Group 10 clubs like the Saints and Group 11 outfits such as the Magpies, the Peter McDonald Premiership provides new challenges for participants.
Unknow opponents and new away trips on top of existing rivalries will make for stiff competition, but Ranse feels the Saints are poised for big things.
"I'm pretty keen for the year and we'll see how it all pans out. It's my third go around [with Pat's]," he said.
"Me and my partner moved up to Newcastle last year and I was a bit in and out of footy, but it's good to do a full pre-season with St Pat's and get right into it.
"I think we'll be looking at semi-finals this year, it's a good team and it's really clicking at training as well."
Ranse first played for the Saints in 2017 before switching to Mid West Cup outfit Blackheath the following season. He ran in 26 tries across 12 games for the premiership winning Blackcats.
In 2019 Ranse returned to Group 10 as a member of the Oberon Tigers. He lined up as halfback in the Group representative side that year too as he continued his impressive form.
Last year Ranse spent time in Newcastle before moving back to the area in July. St Pat's coach Zac Merritt wasted little time in getting him on board as fullback.
It was in the number one jumper he impressed against Forbes. Ranse was strong on kick returns, provided good support play and scored a pair of tries - one of them a 60-metre intercept.
"I thought I was going to fall over before the line, so to score that was good. I was a bit fatigued there at the end too, the legs were killing," he laughed of that effort.
"I've been in and out of Pat's so I didn't really know much about him [Collits] to start off with, but from things that Zac has said, he was a top bloke. So it's nice to win this [best on ground]."
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