15 September, 2022

State of Origin glory in touch football

MORAYFIELD’S Catherine Sargent continued her strong record in State of Origin touch football, and was named Women’s Open player of the series in this year’s tournament in Coffs Harbour.

State of Origin glory in touch football - feature photo

Queensland won two games to one in the Women’s Open, while NSW won the tournament overall.

Sargent (pictured) played link, as her role was to get the team going forward, while rucking was her main focus.

With State of Origin touch football played every two years, Sargent has been part of the Queensland Open Women’s team in each campaign since 2012, with the 2020 competition taking place in 2021 due to Covid.

Sargent has been in a series win every time apart from 2014, when the competition was held at the Sunshine Coast.

Sargent lived her whole life in Morayfield before recently moving to the Sunshine Coast.

She plays touch football in a mixed team at Caboolture throughout the year, and also plays in a mixed team at the Sunshine Coast.

“State of Origin is the hardest touch football games you can play,” she said.

“They are incredibly physical, fast, and competitive.”

Following Queensland’s 4-0 victory in the first Women’s Open match in Coffs Harbour, Sargent scored a try in the series-sealing 6-3 triumph before NSW won the third match 3-2.

Sargent said Queensland had an extremely tight group of players in the Open Women’s and that they worked extremely hard, turned up for each other and never gave up.

“We all knew that we had a job to do, and we did it to the best of our abilities,” she said.

“We were relentless with our ruck defence, which allowed our freak attacking players to do their job.

“The best part about being a Queenslander is that any girl in any position at any stage of the game can get the job done.

“It’s about giving every player the confidence to believe they can.

“Our coaching staff gave us the belief that we can, so we did.”

Sargent said Queensland put in 100 percent effort in the third game and that it was extremely disappointing to lose this contest and not complete a 3-0 series whitewash.

“It is very hard to get into the right frame of mind, knowing that you have already won the series,” she said.

Sargent said she was very fortunate to play with her long-time best friend Hayley Maddick, and that she was also close with a lot of NSW players as they had represented Australia together.

“This year’s win was super special for me for many reasons,” Sargent said.

“The older I am getting, the more I am realising that each tournament may be my last.

“So, the thought of this State of Origin being my last in the Open’s arena is upsetting.”

Another huge factor for Sargent was the passing of her mum last November, with Sargent saying her mum was her biggest supporter and would attend all of her games.

“I was quite afraid of playing Origin without her this year,” Sargent said.

“Not having her there in the crowd was tough.

“She would always be there cheering me on and giving me a big hug at the end of each game.

“I know she most certainly gave me the strength to get through the carnival.

“I was very lucky to have an incredible aunty (mum’s twin) and family come down and support me, I love them dearly and wouldn’t have been able to get through the series without them!”

Sargent said she was “very very overwhelmed” to be named Women’s Open player of the series, and that it was very unexpected.

“I honestly still can’t believe that I won that award,” she said.

“I didn’t even know what to do at the end and was meant to be getting a photo with the lovely man presenting me the medal, and I was walking away from him! Haha.

“I wish my mum could have been there to see me get that award. She would have been over the moon.”

Sargent said Origin touch football was the highlight of the calendar for her.

“There is just something about playing for Queensland (that) makes you keep wanting more and more,” she said.

Sargent said she didn’t think her body would be up for playing Open Women’s again in Origin touch football, “although we will just see”.


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