By the way, it's Giteau v Cooper - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

By the way, it's Giteau v Cooper

David Beniuk And Ed Logue 04/03/2011 06:33:42 PM Comments (0)

Were it not for all the Brumbies' off-field turmoil, Saturday night's Super Rugby clash with Queensland would probably have been all about duelling five-eighths Matt Giteau and Quade Cooper.

Wallabies coach Robbie Deans will no doubt have a keen eye on the showdown, which takes on huge significance in the World Cup year.

Giteau has gradually slipped down the pecking order under Deans, sliding from starting Test No.10 to bench man, and will head to Europe to continue his career after the New Zealand-hosted tournament.

But he gets the chance to prove a point against incumbent Wallaby playmaker Cooper at Canberra Stadium.

Both have plenty of improvement in them after last weekend.

Giteau's Brumbies wasted a glut of possession to be pipped by wooden spoon fancies Melbourne 25-24.

Cooper was forced to resort to some low percentage plays as his forwards were smashed by NSW in a crushing 30-6 loss.

Out wide, a bruising battle could eventuate in the national capital between incumbent Wallabies outside centre Adam Ashley-Cooper and the man many predict will challenge him for the Australian No.13 jersey, former Melbourne Storm centre Will Chambers.

Up front, Test props Ben Alexander and James Slipper will butt heads in the scrum.

Queensland stand-in captain Will Genia said the Reds had learnt a lesson from focusing too much on their individual opponents before last weekend's loss to the Waratahs.

"We're past looking at individual battles," he said.

"I think it's more about the team and, to be honest, that's probably been our focus this week more so than any other.

"We learnt our lesson last week. There was a lot of talk about individual match-ups and then we ended up, to an extent, playing a little bit like individuals."

One player who will struggle to get past the personal battles will be talented young Brumbies flanker Colby Faingaa.

He will start for the Canberra side, coming up against histwin brothers Anthony and Saia.

"It's always fun," Colby said. "There's always good banter in the week leading in."

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