Quade Cooper keeps Queensland Reds honest
March 5, 2013
The Reds were defiant in holding off the fast-finishing Hurricanes%]
Quade Cooper has Queensland Reds players "worried" ahead of the Super Rugby match on Friday night far more than does the thought of James O'Connor playing as Melbourne Rebels five-eighth.
Reds hooker Saia Faingaa said on Tuesday that Queensland wouldn't be breathing easier after the Rebels slotted stand-in skipper O'Connor into the No. 10 jersey in place of injured Kurtley Beale. "Anywhere he plays, he is going to be an X-factor for them," Faingaa said of O'Connor.
But returning centre Anthony Faingaa said that Cooper was keeping teammates honest far more than the thought of facing O'Connor.
"You are always waiting and waiting, [thinking] 'what is he going to do?'," Anthony Faingaa said of Cooper. "As a player outside him, he leaves you on the edge of your seat all the time."
Anthony Faingaa said that Cooper had suffered a quiet start to the season as the Reds clawed their way to a 2-1 win-loss record because he was juggling goal-kicking duties.
"At the moment, he's been given a lot more responsibility," Faingaa said. "But for us, you just give him options. If you give him as many as you can, he is pretty much going to pick the right one. We always talk about how do you work around Quade. You just pick your line and hope he makes a good decision and hits you."
Cooper may not have been his flashy self but Anthony Faingaa had no problem with the Reds grinding their way to two victories to date.
"We have clawed our ways to win. The way we have been winning games you can't teach that," Faingaa said. "We have a brotherhood that we take out onto the field."
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering
Floundering Leicester, exquisite Exeter and two old England players tearing up trees - it's the Monday Maul
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship and all the domestic action from the northern hemisphere
Chris Robshaw talks to Tom Hamilton about mental and physical preparation and coping with pressure ahead of the World Cup