Ashley-Cooper urges Waratahs to lift

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    Former Brumbies back Adam Ashley-Cooper says his 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 and Australian Conference with two wins and a bye and are five points ahead of NSW.

    The Waratahs have traditionally found wins in the national capital hard to come by and barely raised a whimper in a tepid performance in their loss in Canberra last season.

    “We have to really turn up on the night,” Ashley-Cooper told AAP.

    “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 and said 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.”

    Wallabies utility Ashley-Cooper has started the season at outside centre, a position many pundits believe is his best.

    While he would love to stay in one position, Ashley-Cooper was cheerfully resigned to circumstances dictating otherwise.

    “In a perfect world I’d love to stay in the one position, because that gives you a chance to build your performance week to week and really focus on that one position,” Ashley-Cooper said.

    “But in reality it’s a 16-game competition and it’s a tough competition.

    “It’s physically demanding. There’s injuries and I would assume there would be rotation to preserve the recovery and freshness of players.

    “So with that I could expect to be moved. But it hasn’t troubled me in the past and I wouldn’t have a problem with that.”

    © AAP 2018

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    The Crowd Says (16)

    • March 6th 2013 @ 9:56am
      Blinky Bill of Bellingen said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:56am | ! Report

      Here’s hoping that, as a senior player, AAC will walk the walk in Canberra by lifting his own personal performance and in so doing motivate those around him to play to the next level.

      Nothing else will beat the nags.

    • March 6th 2013 @ 9:57am
      The Battered Slav said | March 6th 2013 @ 9:57am | ! Report

      Coops will haev a bit of traffic coming down his channel on Saturday, let’s see how he deals with Mogg’s slicing runs and Mowen’s new found ability to bend the line.

      Tahs will have to have their sh*t together on Saturday if they’re entertaining any thoughts of a win at Bruce.

      Can’t see it happening on current form though. Brumbies by 1-12 is my tip, although that might change later in the week…

      • March 6th 2013 @ 12:09pm
        Jutsie said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:09pm | ! Report

        I dont know, brumbies have been easily the most impressive aus team but I have to say the tahs have impressed me a lot more than the rebs (my team) the reds or the force, mainly for their endeavour and new found fitness/tenacity, although their basic skills and decision making still need some work. If they can put in an 80 min performance similar to the 20/30min of good rugby they put in against both the reds and rebs I think it could be a cracker of a match. (will still tip the brumbies though haha)

        • March 6th 2013 @ 12:56pm
          The Battered Slav said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:56pm | ! Report

          Can’t disagree with that Jutsie, Tahs have definitely shown more promise than most of the other Aus provinces.

          The style/game plan they are trying to play is the right one, it’s just down to whether or not that can execute it properly and over the full 80 minutes, as you say, that will be the important part.

          And yes, it should definitely be a cracker.

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2013 @ 12:03pm
      jeznez said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:03pm | ! Report

      Love this quote from Michael Cheika on rugbyheaven this morning. The quote is about Lopeti Timani’s improvement from the Reds game to the Rebels but it the last comment about team selection I’m really enthused by.

      ”[Against the Rebels] he worked harder off the ball, he worked harder to be in position. In the first game I think he did a bit of walking, like a few other guys, when we needed to be running, when you don’t have the ball. It’s a key element to what we’re about, working hard off the ball. Every player has to do that, that’s one of the key criteria for selection.”

      • Columnist

        March 6th 2013 @ 12:40pm
        Brett McKay said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:40pm | ! Report

        That’d be the lead-up to Eddie Quirk’s break, I’m guessing Jez…

        • Roar Guru

          March 6th 2013 @ 10:19pm
          jeznez said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:19pm | ! Report

          Very possible B-Mac.

          I had to smile, in the same article Cheika praised how powerful Timani is – I couldn’t help giving an imaginary doff of the cap to KPM.

      • March 6th 2013 @ 12:58pm
        Red Kev said | March 6th 2013 @ 12:58pm | ! Report

        It is one facet of the game that sees Digby nearly always first named on the wing – his work off the ball is tireless and very valuable but rarely seen by the public (after all – we watch the ball).

    • Roar Guru

      March 6th 2013 @ 3:31pm
      Peter Breckenridge said | March 6th 2013 @ 3:31pm | ! Report

      I wonder if AAC will actual feel a twang of angst having left the Brumbies? I gurantee the crowd, and it sounds like it will be a big one will be on his back, so to Hooper’s. it will be interesting to see how or if this impacts their games. Irrespective they will be under pressure, as will all the Tahs come Saturday. Can’t wait.

      • March 7th 2013 @ 6:46am
        Crockycrocky said | March 7th 2013 @ 6:46am | ! Report

        Twang of angst …. Doubt it …. AAC has always been all about AAC ….. Heard he’s off to Japan at end of season too

        • Roar Guru

          March 7th 2013 @ 11:49am
          Peter Breckenridge said | March 7th 2013 @ 11:49am | ! Report

          I do know he was disappointed with the way he left the Brumbies and feeling he had too. Just remember his Uncle graham Bond was a Brumby and influential in his signing down here.

          I hope he is, it is time to earn himself some money.

          • March 7th 2013 @ 9:20pm
            Crockycrocky said | March 7th 2013 @ 9:20pm | ! Report

            Just hope he likes driving a Toyota as much as he enjoyed driving his audi 🙂

    • March 6th 2013 @ 10:29pm
      Ra said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:29pm | ! Report

      I’m finding it hard to believe that this Tah’s pack is the nucleus of the Wallabies pack that I got quite passionate about at the end of last year I.e. The pack that tamed the much vaunted English pack on their own hallowed turf. I’m looking forward to seeing that pack this weekend.

      • Roar Guru

        March 6th 2013 @ 10:46pm
        jeznez said | March 6th 2013 @ 10:46pm | ! Report

        Would be good if they front Ra.

        I can forgive week one blowing out the cobwebs against a team that already had a tough game under their belt.

        For week two I was lucky enough to miss the first half and only watch the second.

        This will be the Tahs third game and is a significant step up in class – here is where we need to see some of the positive aspects of the play this year turned into a strong 80 minute effort..

        • March 7th 2013 @ 6:46pm
          Ra said | March 7th 2013 @ 6:46pm | ! Report

          Yeah They’ve had their two warm up games, now its time for the pack to pull together as a tight five to provide their backs with space, and not as the loose eight we’ve been seeing so far

    • March 7th 2013 @ 2:50am
      Malo said | March 7th 2013 @ 2:50am | ! Report

      Huge game to show if the tahs have indeed restored their backbone. This will show if the tahs are ready to walk the walk rather than just talk big. They can win it but will they, (probably not) ?

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