Ashley-Cooper savours rugby return

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    NSW Waratahs back Adam Ashley-Cooper says a win over Super Rugby Australian conference leaders the Brumbies on Saturday is vital, as he prepares to make an emotional return to Canberra.

    The Waratahs are five points behind the Brumbies following a 37-33 home loss to the Crusaders in Sydney on Sunday.

    A loss to the Brumbies could leave them nine to ten points behind, with just half a dozen more games remaining.

    “It is a crucial time in the competition for us, a win next week is vital,” Ashley-Cooper told reporters on Sunday.

    “If they get a win they skip further ahead, if we win we get closer to claiming that number one in the Australian conference.”

    After playing seven years and 78 Super games for the Brumbies, next Saturday’s match marks Ashley-Cooper’s first game against his former team.

    “I’m actually looking really forward to it, I’m not going to take too much distraction away from the team performance, but personally I’m looking forward to getting back there and getting a win,” Ashley-Cooper said.

    “I love playing down there. Obviously there’s going to be a lot of emotion going back down there and playing.

    “But for me, I’m just going to concentrate on my role within the team and not get distracted by the occasion.”

    He was impressed with the Brumbies ability to win the ball at the breakdown and the skills of their backs.

    The loss to the Crusaders was the Waratahs’ fifth of the year and their fourth by four points or less.

    “It’s no good being close enough, at the end of the day you want to win, you want to get those points,” Ashley-Cooper said.

    “We’re yet to close out games, grind out games, particularly in that 50 to 60 minute mark.

    “A little bit of ill discipline, a little bit of technical errors are letting us down at critical moments.”

    He lined up at fullback but admitted there was a bit of connection missing in the Waratahs backline, as some of them attacked and defended in different positions.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • April 30th 2012 @ 7:38am
      the traitor returns said | April 30th 2012 @ 7:38am | ! Report

      Dont expect a warm welcome! and tell your mate Rocky to not even show up just like he did for the past 2 season for the Brumbies.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 9:20am
      Bakkies said | April 30th 2012 @ 9:20am | ! Report

      Must admit that AAC looks quiet ridiculous in a Waratahs jersey. Doesn’t suit him and it’s too clean as his team mates avoid giving im the ball.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 11:24am
        apelu said | April 30th 2012 @ 11:24am | ! Report

        I think the Tahs must be saving big time as they do not need to wash the jerseys of 11 to 15.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 10:37am
      bmwwilliams said | April 30th 2012 @ 10:37am | ! Report

      Think you guys are being more than a little harsh.

      AAC gave his best years to the Brumbies – I don’t begrudge him wanting to move closer to his partner/take a bit more money in his later years.

      Even in terms of his game, he had started to look stale at the Brums and probably needed to move on.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 3:00pm
      Ack said | April 30th 2012 @ 3:00pm | ! Report

      The same can not be said about Rocky.
      Watching his 20mins yesterday made me ask if we have seen his best 3 years ago.
      The signs are not great.

    • April 30th 2012 @ 4:00pm
      Albo said | April 30th 2012 @ 4:00pm | ! Report

      That overs line that AAC ran to set up the Pakalani try was inch perfect. When he runs those lines he’s a great 13. As I’ve said before, Giteau used to run across field so much that by the time AAC got the ball there was nothing he could do. Barnes runs straighter and passes flatter which is more ideal for Adam at outside than when he finished at the Brumbies.

      I would love to see a Barnes, Horne, Ashely Cooper combination in the middle.

      • April 30th 2012 @ 5:26pm
        bmwwilliams said | April 30th 2012 @ 5:26pm | ! Report

        Albo, I don’t think that combination would strike much fear into the hearts of teams like the Chiefs (Cruden, SBW, Kahui), or even the Brumbies (Lealiifano, McCabe, Kuridrani/Smith) at the moment!

        Agreed though that no one was likely to shine outside Giteau the last couple of years.

        • May 2nd 2012 @ 12:02pm
          Albo said | May 2nd 2012 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

          Agree totally that it’s not likely to set the world on fire, but it’s the best I can think of with the current crop. Unless…

          TPN at 12?


    • April 30th 2012 @ 7:25pm
      Daryl said | April 30th 2012 @ 7:25pm | ! Report

      No problems with AAC but rocky crumble can expect nothing but grief! Was instrumental in ensuring the Brumbies played some of their worst rugby ever. His attitude was unbelievably poor!!!

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