Cooper braced for rocky road ahead
September 17, 2011
Quade Cooper (right) and Will Genia are left shellshocked by their loss in Auckland © Getty Images
Quade Cooper Stephen Ferris Will Genia James Horwill Sean O'Brien Paul O'Connell James O'Connor Brian O'Driscoll Ronan O'Gara Jonathan Sexton
Quade Cooper admitted that the Wallabies have made life very difficult for themselves after slumping to a shock 15-6 defeat by Ireland in a gripping Rugby World Cup encounter in Auckland on Saturday.
Ireland's stunning success at Eden Park, which was founded on an awesome display by their pack and a supreme defensive effort from all concerned, means that, with games against Russia and Italy to come, they are now favourites to top Pool C.
Australia are still near certainties to qualify for the knockout stages given that their two outstanding games are against the United States the Russians. However, they are now heading towards the 'wrong' side of the draw given that their likely quarter-final opponents are South Africa. Should they defeat the world champions, they will then, in all likelihood, have to go through hosts New Zealand to get to the final.
"The road that we have from here on in is a tough road but one that everyone's up for," Cooper told AAP. "This sort of game makes you realise this tournament only comes around every four years and losing one game can be detrimental to the rest of the tournament.
"But we're in a good position that this one game isn't the end of the road for us. It just makes the road a little bit more tougher."
Cooper conceded that the Wallabies only have themselves to blame for finding themselves in such a position after failing to even match let alone better Ireland's intensity at Eden Park.
"It's never a good feeling when you lose a game, especially when it's an important game in an important competition like the World Cup," Cooper said. "So there's a point where you've got to say 'we messed up there and as a team we've got to do better'.
"We've got to be in and amongst it around the finals series. We've got to get better and we've got to improve next week (against the USA)."
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