Ashley-Cooper urges Waratahs to lift
March 6, 2013
Adam Ashley-Cooper is urging the Waratahs to put everything on the line against his old team in Canberra. © Getty Images
Former Brumbies back Adam Ashley-Cooper says his New South Wales Waratahs side must treat Saturday's Super Rugby clash with his old side in Canberra like it is the most important game they will ever play.
The Brumbies lead the overall table with two wins and a bye, and they are five points ahead of the Waratahs. The Waratahs have traditionally found wins in the national capital hard to come by, and they raised barely a whimper in a tepid performance in their loss in Canberra last season.
"We have to really turn up on the night," Ashley-Cooper said. "We didn't do it last year when we were down there. We were very quiet and they shut us out.
"We can't give them any chances, we can't allow them into the game. We have to go down there with a real focus that this is the most important game that we're ever going to play."
Ashley-Cooper backed the style of play favoured by new coach Michael Cheika, saying it suited the skill and ability of the squad.
"It's something that I think is certainly needed to compete at the top level," Ashley-Cooper said. "It's an upbeat approach and it's also a tough physical approach. Cheik has certainly changed the mindset in a few areas, but at the end of the day, there's only so much he can do. It's up to the players."
Ireland have the world sitting up and taking notice - and rugby's structure in Europe will aid their Rugby World Cup bid, writes John Mitchell
Where does Italy's win over Scotland rank among their successes in the Six Nations? Scrum Sevens investigates
The tone was set early on in Dublin as a more clinical Ireland made England pay. All is not lost, however, argues Phil Vickery
Monday Maul takes in retirement talk, England reshuffles, France's unfair advantage and Scotland's communication breakdown