Method not madness to Cooper's game: Genia - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Method not madness to Cooper's game: Genia

Tom Wald 12/11/2010 02:36:51 PM Comments (0)

There is a lot more method to Quade Cooper's play than meets the eye.

So says Will Genia, the player that spends more time near him on the rugby paddock than any other.

The English press have been lavish in their praise of Cooper's freewheeling ways ahead of Australia's clash with England on Saturday at Twickenham.

Genia, who first played with Cooper at the under-16 national championships in 2004, says the No.10's deep thinking and homework on the game is something that has been overlooked.

Cooper himself is a bit to blame for that, even though he has gone some way to addressing his larrikin reputation after having burglary charges dropped against him in July.

"He has settled now in terms of his maturity, from when to play and when not to play, he still has a lot to learn," Genia said.

"The thing about Quade is a lot of people do not know but he is a massive student of the game.

"He sits down and studies players and looks at things from different perspectives and from different angles.

"He is someone who is very smart when it comes to rugby knowledge and rugby sense."

It is easy for people to look past that with Cooper's skips, kicks and impulsive tactics more akin to backyard or touch football than the unforgiving stage of international rugby.

His freshness and the blossoming of other attacking talents such as Kurtley Beale and James O'Connor must be so heartening for Wallabies coach Robbie Deans.

The Kiwi mentor is starting to see some of his plans come together before next year's World Cup.

"I think Quade is growing rapidly as a young man, we have a couple of young blokes that have shown a lot of maturity," said Deans.

"As tends to happen, the more time you spend in game the faster your learning is.

"There is no doubt this group is settling in terms of their combinations and their game sense."

Asked if Cooper was playing at full capacity, Deans could not stop a smile from slipping out.

"I am really hopeful that he along with many others in this group will look back in time to come and say 'Gee ... just getting started'.

"That would be exciting."

In a sign of the changing of the guard from Matt Giteau to Cooper in terms of Australia's attacking spark, Genia says that his Reds teammate is the dominant player in Australia's backline.

"Definitely Quade, as dominant as he is on the field he is off the field, so he is pretty much a bully," Genia said with a smile.

"(He says) 'Just give me the ball.'"

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