Dagg criticises Cooper treatment
July 21, 2013
Quade Cooper (l) endured a difficult evening in Christchurch © Getty Images
Even All Blacks rivals are getting sick and tired of New Zealand fans jeering Queensland Reds playmaker Quade Cooper.
Playing his first match in Christchurch since he was a fresh-faced youngster, Cooper was roundly booed every time he touched the ball in the Reds' 38-9 Super Rugby qualifying loss to the Crusaders on Saturday night.
The mercurial 38-Test five-eighth wore the tag as "Public Enemy No.1" during the 2011 IRB World Cup in New Zealand after a running on-field battle with All Blacks skipper and Christchurch favourite Richie McCaw.
A packed AMI Stadium crowd repeated the abuse directed at Cooper, particularly whenever he lined up for penalty goal, as he was well contained by the rampant Crusaders. However All Blacks and Crusaders fullback Israel Dagg was quick to plead with fans to show more respect after the four-try thumping.
"Great win by the boys but please peeps give @QuadeCooper a break!! Disappointed by the boos #moveon," Dagg tweeted.
Cooper never managed to make an impact against the Crusaders' brick-wall defence but didn't appear to be perturbed by the jeers and finished with three penalties from four attempts.
While he was controversially overlooked by Robbie Deans for the Wallabies' 2-1 series loss to the British & Irish Lions, the 25-year-old is set to return as new coach Ewen McKenzie's playmaker for the August 17 Bledisloe Cup clash in Sydney.