ST Pat's needed players to stand tall for their first foray into a new era of rugby league this season.
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Hayden Bolam and Jackson Brien were ready to answer the call.
The Saints hooker and centre, respectively, were two of the leading players for the Saints in their first Peter McDonald Premiership campaign this year, and those efforts saw them win both the player's player and best and fairest awards at the club's presentation night.
Bolam provided the right mix of decision making and speed from dummy half while Brien was once again one of the toughest men to tackle in the competition.
They helped get the Saints top grade side into a finals series for the first time in six years and help create a strong culture across the playing group.
It adds to Bolam's recent Group 10 player of the year crown.
St Pat's president Gary Goldsmith said the club's first grade side had a memorable debut in the Peter McDonald Premiership, where many players stood tall to reach the finals.
"The first grade team really gelled well together as a unit," he said.
"It's really a case of first among equals for Jackson and Hayden, but they're certainly the sort of players that we're grateful to have in our club.
"I thought Matt Ranse had a really good season as well and one of the other awards we gave out was rookie of the year, which we gave to Matt Beattie. He'd never played footy before but he found a spot on the wing and he was really effective for us."
One of the night's other major award winners was league tag coach Mish Somers, who took home the Stubby Collitts Medal for club player of the year.
Cooper Neilsen was the winner of both the player's player and best and fairest awards for the St Pat's reserve grade side, underpinning the brilliant season he enjoyed.
Under 18s wrecking ball AJ Stait was his team's best and fairest.
He also won the player's player prize alongside Manny Tobin.
The ladies league tag prizes carried extra prestige, given that the team were the only Saints side - junior or senior - to celebrate premiership glory in 2022.
Darcie Morrison was the best and fairest for the dominant Saints tag squad while Cheynoah Merchant and Erin Naden were player's player recipients.
Meredith Jones was the most dedicated league tag player award winner.
Goldsmith said it was also great to be able to recognise the efforts of club members off the pitch as well.
"Nick Booth picked up the coach's award in first grade and also the best role model. He's a St Pat's junior who's been there for many years," he said.
"If you ask Nick to come down to training a bit early or you ask him to help clean up he'll do it, and he's often helping out without being asked. The best role model is someone who does the right thing on and off the paddock, and that's Nik to a tee.
"The best club person of the year was Leanne Ashcroft, who runs the canteen with ruthless efficiency. She'ss supports the club tremendously and does every job very well."
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