Matilda Gook.
Matilda Gook. Donna Jones

Gympie rugby debutante stuns with 4-try haul

RUGBY UNION: Wednesday afternoon was the first time Matilda Gook stepped on to a rugby union field but she quickly found her feet and scored four tries for the St Patrick's College under-14 girls.

The first round of the Sunshine Coast Secondary Schools Girls Rugby Competition was played at Jack Stokes Oval in Gympie on Wednesday night, but St Pat's under-14s, 16s and 18s will need to wait until next week to try again for a win.

Co-coaches Patrick Anstock and Kayla Smit said they were not interested in the scores, they just wanted all the girls to get out on the field and enjoy the sport.

Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team.
Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team. Donna Jones

It was close to a perfect debut for Gook, who said the feeling of scoring was like nothing else she had experienced.

"You can hear the crowd cheering for you and hearing people say 'yeah Matilda' and 'go Matilda' it encourages you,” she said.

It was during one of her first touches of the ball that Gook ran around the outside of the opposition to score, and minutes later was in on the same play.

"When I got that pass I just thought to myself I will have a crack and see how I go,” she said.

"Going over for my first, I thought this is what it feels like.”

Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team.
Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team. Donna Jones

The try that stood out for Gook was in the corner, after getting through the opposition's defensive line.

"It was better than just running the whole field, you just quickly dived in. It felt more smooth,” she said.

"I had to earn it, because if I did not score I would have just got back up and kept playing.”

The Gympie product is no stranger to sport, playing netball and previously touch.

Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team.
Girls school rugby - Under-14s St Pat's Union team. Donna Jones

"I just wanted something different. I love running so I get to use my speed a lot,” she said.

"The tackling can be hard, the girls on the other team were really strong but you just have to hold on.

"I need to work on my defence for the next game and the team's kick chase will need to improve.”

The 14s went down to St John's 30-50, under-16s 15-20 and opens 10-35.

St Pat's three sides head to Noosa next Wednesday to take on Mountain Creek and St Teresa's.

Gympie Times


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