Piper Duck celebrates Super W debut with win

Maya Stewart, Akiko Shindo, Piper Duck and Campbell Aitken during the NSW Waratahs jersey presentation.

Piper Duck won’t be forgetting her Super W debut anytime soon after helping the Waratahs to a resounding 33-3 win over the Melbourne Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday afternoon.

Running on at starting flanker, Duck was strong in defence, forcing the Rebels women to make errors close to the line, while also forcing a turnover at the breakdown.

Additionally, the talented back rower made some strong carries, impressing in her introduction to Super W rugby.

“It was a great experience,” Duck said.

“I just wanted to lift for my teammates and not let anyone down.”

The round one win has Duck and the reigning Super W premiers feeling confident ahead of a long season of rugby.

“It was good to start with a win, especially not conceding any tries,” Duck said.

“There are still areas we need to improve but it was a good way to kick things off.”

The 18-year-old, who is in her first full year of professional rugby after leaving school, is savoring every moment.

“This is the first time I have been fully part of a team,” Duck said.

“Previously, I have had to rush back to boarding school but now school is over, I can get to know the girls better and get involved with the group after games.”

The Tumut rugby product explained that senior players had taken her under their wings and even described one special moment that would stay with her forever.

“Grace (Hamilton) and Emily (Chancellor) have so much experience in the back row and have been looking after me and mentoring me,” Duck said.

“Gracie Hamilton was the one that handed me my debutant hat and considering how much I look up to her, it was definitely my best rugby moment so far.”

Duck, who has predominantly played sevens rugby, is enjoying her foray into the larger format of the game.

“I have always enjoyed sevens and I still want to play both formats but I really do enjoy 15s,” Duck said.

Despite her meteoric rise in the sport of rugby and the fact that the 2021 women’s rugby world cup is only just around the corner, Duck is keeping her feet firmly on the ground.

“I know all those bigger goals are there and all of us who play rugby want to achieve at the highest possible level,” Duck said.

“Still for me, I just want to get through the Super W season and learn the game of 15 a side rugby.

“I still don’t know what kind of player I want to be and that is something I will be thinking about this season as I grow as a player and a person.”

The Waratahs and Duck will now focus on a trial against Fiji later today before turning their attention towards a round two Super W fixture against the Brumbies at Bankwest stadium on February 28.