Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 27 December 2014

Cooper remains defiant

Quade Cooper
Quade Cooper

Australia fly-half Quade Cooper believes he will emerge in a positive fashion from his World Cup experiences.

New Zealand-born playmaker Cooper often became a target for the boo boys during Australia's pool stage and knockout phase campaign. They had a field day when he sent the kick-off straight into touch during the semi-final defeat against the All Blacks at Eden Park, and any subsequent error was greeted in raucous fashion.

But Cooper still showed touches of brilliance, and he remains a major threat to Wales' hopes of finishing third in the tournament on Friday when the countries contest the bronze medal match. He said: "The first thing I have learnt is the obvious one. Everyone is trying to get at me personally, but I think I am definitely going to be better off for it."

He continued: "The way everyone came at me from all angles, whether it be media, the crowd, trying to make a big buzz out of it. I got used to it and I think I grew a lot of confidence out of it.

"I am not in a position to point fingers about that or have a cry about it. It's there, it's going to happen, and it has happened. For me it was just about getting on and doing the best that I could for my team, and I feel that I did that.

"It has been the case throughout the whole tournament from the minute I stepped off the plane, to the minute I am sure that I get on the plane.

"I am sure that everybody will have their opinion, their voices, and whatever that is I am not going to try and make any perception any different. I am who I am. I am going to play the way that I play, and whether you like it or not, that's me."

Australia's 20-6 loss to the All Blacks means the Wallabies have just five days to pick themselves up and prevent Wales from matching their third-place finish at the inaugural World Cup 24 years ago.

"We're pretty down about losing a semi-final in a World Cup," Cooper added.

"For a lot of the boys it was their first World Cup, but I am sure it won't be their last. Everyone is looking to the future now. We can't get this game back, but we can look forward to what is to come."

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