Ashley-Cooper following Muliaina's blueprint
July 22, 2010
Adam Ashley-Cooper is keen to take the attack to South Africa © Getty Images
Australia fullback Adam Ashley-Cooper has promised to take the attack to South Africa in Brisbane on Saturday after taking a leaf out of All Black Mils Muliaina's book.
Muliaina was at the heart of New Zealand's recent Tri-Nations victories over the Springboks in Auckland and Wellington, responding to their usual barrage of high kicks by sparking numerous counters with ball in hand, and Ashley-Cooper is keen to follow suit at Suncorp Stadium.
The Brumbies utility has been restored to the No.15 jersey, with James O'Connor shifted to the wing, and he will refuse to be drawn into a kicking duel with South Africa's new-look halfback combo of Ruan Pienaar and Morne Steyn.
"Instead of getting into that kicking duel what Mils did was change it up and obviously just attacked and he attacked from everywhere on the park," Ashley-Cooper told AAP. "The Springboks weren't expecting that so it's something I've definitely noticed and recognised and something I'll be doing on Saturday night.
"Just be decisive as Mils was. He made a decision early and went through with it. He's who I regard as the best fullback in the world at the moment."
The Springboks are out to overcome their Brisbane hoodoo, having not won in the city since 1971, and Ashley-Cooper will be keen to extend that run after scoring a try in last season's 21-6 Suncorp Stadium win, the only time during their Tri-Nations triumph that the Boks were derailed.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in all the action from the weekend when rugby united behind Samoa
England broke their losing streak, but this was not them clawing their way back among the best, writes Tom Hamilton
Wales were just 13 minutes from a famous victory, but the lessons to be learned in defeat are almost exactly the same as those from previous near-misses, writes Huw Richards
Ahead of England's clash with Samoa, Scrum Sevens takes a wander down memory lane and celebrates seven examples of Pacific Islands magic