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Cooper remains defiant

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."


From Belfast Telegraph