Quade Cooper stands firm
October 20, 2013
Quade Cooper attacked the line strongly © Getty Images
Quade Cooper appears finally to have blocked out the constant booing in New Zealand despite another convincing loss to the All Blacks.
The Wallabies went down 41-33 in the third Bledisloe Cup Test in Dunedin to lose the series 3-0 after another merciless display by the New Zealanders, yet the pivot can still hold his head up high. Cooper was flawless with the boot, kicking three penalties, three conversions and one field goal to finish with a haul of 18 points. He also threw a pinpoint cut-out ball to an unmarked Adam Ashley Cooper on the stroke of half-time to keep the Wallabies in the match, and he never stopped trying to put the All Blacks on the back foot.
"He also made some pretty important tackles at key moments, so I thought he had a strong game," Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said.
Cooper's efforts were in stark contrast to his recent performances in New Zealand, where he has been booed incessantly since his run-in with Richie McCaw in 2011. He said he went into the match expecting more of the same.
"It's not something I enjoy, don't get me wrong, but I've come to expect it," Cooper said. "You can't silence it. All you can do is kick well, do your job well for the team and then that sound starts to dim down in your head. That's something I've just got to put up with and work at."
Cooper could not recall previously kicking at 100% in an international match. "It's something we all work pretty hard at and to see it come out on the field and get 100% under pretty tough circumstances, I'm happy with that."
The All Blacks won another thrill-a-minute Test against Australia (video available only in Australia)
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action