FOUR Gladstone touch football players have returned after representing Australia in a Trans Tasman series.
Zac Smith, 21, Jay Cotter, 24, and Gavin Marsh, 22, played for the open men's Australian touch football team at Tweed Heads on October 26-27.
Sandra Vickery, 35, also went down to play for the open 27s Australian women as well as being the team's assistant coach.
Vickery impressed so much in her role as assistant coach that she has been asked to coach the team next year.
"It meant a lot that the girls thought I'd done all right," Vickery said.
As a player-coach, Vickery said it was hard to get into the mindset of a coach but she enjoyed the experience.
Vickery's team did not win the series, losing the first two games 4-3 and 5-3 respectively, and winning the final game on forfeit.
But she said she was proud of the women.
"We all did well as a team considering how many training runs we had together."
The men had a bit more luck against New Zealand, winning the first game 10-4 and the final two on forfeit.
Marsh said he was a happy man on his return, now able to claim a try scored for his country.
Five minutes in, Marsh scored the second try of the game after some fancy footwork revealed a hole in the Kiwis' defence.
Marsh said the try went down to some good team work and pulling off a set play.
"The guys gelled pretty quick," Marsh said.
Cotter said the New Zealand players were worthy opponents.
"They were what we were expecting," Cotter said.
"We expected them to come at us with everything."
Despite a lapse in concentration, Cotter said the Aussie open men played a good game.
"We were getting a little bit complacent in the first half but we did what we came there to do."
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