Ashley-Cooper blames himself for loss - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Ashley-Cooper blames himself for loss

By David Beniuk 31/08/2010 07:04:46 PM Comments (0)

Big-hearted Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper has taken blame for last Saturday's shattering Tr-nations Test loss to South Africa.

Ashley-Cooper lost the ball in a tackle when he seemed set to score a try with his team trailing 34-31 in the second half of Australia's 44-31 loss in Pretoria.

It was one of many opportunities that went begging.

Livewire Boks halfback Francois Hougaard produced a great piece of desperation defence when he jolted the ball from Ashley-Cooper's grasp in a one-on-one match-up as the Wallabies centre cut back in a few metres from the tryline.

The usually reliable Ashley-Cooper described it as match-changing.

"I can safely say that had a direct result on the match and that just comes down to doing the basics well and I didn't do it at the time," Ashley-Cooper said.

"It was probably a wrong-sided ball carry and it probably would have been a different result if I'd carried it in my right hand."

"I obviously give respect to Hougaard, he did very well to make that tackle.

"It popped out of my hand and I was very disappointed with that because I know that that's a non-negotiable for me and the other nine times out of 10 I would have kept that ball."

But Ashley-Cooper also saw positives from the match, saying the combinations in the Australian backline were beginning to click since Quade Cooper's move to five-eighth and return after a two-match suspension.

"That's important, our combination with Quade, Gits (Matt Giteau) and myself is certainly one for the future," he said.

"I didn't have the opportunity to play with him earlier on in the year in the Super 14 but the time that I've had with him this year has been valuable."

Ashley-Cooper said Cooper was beginning to have an input into the Wallabies' game-plan.

"He certainly brings a lot in the analysis group and the strategy group for the game," he said.

"He's got a lot of fresh new ideas which is important because it's always good to have fresh eyes and fresh ideas."

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