Quade Cooper has the answer: ‘be brave’
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Wallabies player Quade Cooper. AAP Image/Dave Hunt
“I urge the Wallabies to be brave and not boring”. Of all the countless words that have been written and spoken during Wallaby coach Robbie Deans’ watch, those 10 words from re-injured fly-half Quade Cooper yesterday nailed the Wallabies’ problem.
And worth repeating: brave and not boring.
The Wallabies have the Boks to play at Loftus on Saturday night and the Pumas in Rosario a week later to end their Rugby Championship campaign at two formidable venues.
It would be fair to say Wallaby fans would totally support their team if they went down playing rugby the way it should be played with ball-in-hand trying to score tries.
But there’s a far better chance of winning if the Wallabies became more adventurous every international. Or to use Cooper’s word – brave.
During Deans’ 64-game career with the Wallabies, there have been only four wins that have stood out among his 38 successes:
* The 41-39 win over the Boks at Bloemfontein in September 2010, scoring 5 tries to 3, with Kurtley Beale landing a huge penalty on the bell from the junction of the halfway mark and touch to end a 47-year drought on the high veldt.
* The 26-24 defeat in October 2010 of the All Blacks in Hong Kong, scoring 4 tries to 3, the final try by James O’Connor in the corner. And he converted close to time.
* The 59-16 defeat of the then Six-Nations champions France at Stade de France in November 2010, scoring 7 tries to 1. Down 16-13 at the break, the Wallabies crossed for six sensational second half tries to pile on 46 unanswered points in 30 minutes.
* And the 25-20 victory over the All Blacks at Suncorp in August 2011 to recapture the Tri-Nations, scoring 3 tries to 2, ending a 10-year drought.
The features of those memorable wins were the Wallabies came from behind in all four, and they scored more tries than the opposition.
So there’s no question the Wallabies can turn it on when they set their mind to it, despite a long list of injuries.
But why did the Wallabies need a wake-up call to get cracking?
That’s the mindset Wallaby fans can’t cope with, and nor can I.
Let’s expand Cooper’s words to say be brave from the kick-off. Hit the Boks and Pumas up-front with everything bar the kitchen sink, then cut the backs loose with ball-in-hand and run their bigger opposition packs off their feet.
As Campo has always preached, and he’s quite right, you can’t score tries without the ball.
Alan Jones proved it with his 1984 Grand Slammers; Bobby Dwyer proved it with his 199! World Cup win; Rod Macqueen proved it twice with the 1999 World Cup; and the 2001 series success against the British and Irish Lions.
Your turn now, Robbie Deans.
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