Cooper to stand up and be counted, or counted out
(AAP Image/Paul Miller)
It doesn’t matter where you look in the lead-up to tonight’s return clash with the All Blacks at Eden Park, up bobs Quade Cooper.
He has dominated the news from the moment he was resurrected last Thursday for his first international of the year.
You’d swear he was the only one playing, which translates to, he had better be a key player or he will cop the mother and father of a public bollocking.
And whose fault is that? Quade Cooper’s from the word go.
But where was the advice from coach Robbie Deans and manager Rob Egerton to guide this loose cannon?
Had Cooper not treated the media and his faithful supporters to that bizarre television cameo after his selection of just 23 words lasting seven seconds before he stomped off without answering any questions, he wouldn’t be so much under the pump.
Cooper knows he’s going to cop the big time verbals from the Eden Park faithful, who gave him hell during the Rugby World Cup. So why give them more ammunition on a plate?
In fact, there have been a lot of bad calls after that disgraceful performance in the Sydney Test last Saturday where the Wallabies only lost 27-19 thanks to Berrick Barnes’ faultless boot.
But they never ever looked like winning.
Despite that undeniable fact, only Kurtley Beale and Anthony Fainga’a were dropped, when Rob Horne and Scott Higginbotham deserved to join the fullback on the bench at best.
So did Tatafu Polota-Nau and Sekope Kepu deserve the flick, but injuries to both took care of that instead.
Quotes attributed to Deans were also concerning.
“I want the forwards to hit harder, and think smarter. We were outplayed in every facet last week.
“We’ve got to do better”.
Pretty basic and obvious stuff.
So I have some pretty basic and obvious questions for Robbie Deans.
What will the desire, dedication, and defence levels be like tonight with the Wallabies?
The pride and passion levels?
Hopefully a minimum of kicking. You can’t win without the ball.
And how about consistent quick ball from the forwards, matched by quick hands, and quick thinking, among the backs?
All those questions are what makes Wallaby rugby tick. Not the aimless drivel we saw last week.
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