Quade gets help within enemy camp - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Quade gets help within enemy camp

Jim Morton 04/04/2011 01:08:47 PM Comments (0)

Former Springboks superboot Braam van Straaten will this week attempt to help Quade Cooper regain Queensland's goalkicking duties and sink his former side, the Stormers, in Cape Town.

While Cooper was a worthy man of the match in the Reds' 30-25 Super Rugby defeat of the Lions, he missed two kickable early penalty shots and handed his coveted role to run-on debutant Mike Harris who then slotted six-from-six.

Among fullback Harris' 15-point Ellis Park haul, which leaves him with an impeccable 100 per cent record from eight attempts this season, was a 54m monster which would have sailed through from 64m.

While the unheralded New Zealand recruit expects Cooper to bounce back, Reds coach Ewen McKenzie admitted he will review the position before taking on the unbeaten Stormers on Sunday morning (AEST).

"We'll look at that," McKenzie told AAP.

"Quade's been in great form but he missed the first two."

With the pace-setting Stormers the competition's best defensive team after conceding just four tries in six wins, accurate goalkicking will be crucial in the top-of-the-table clash.

Under van Straaten's on-line guidance from afar, Cooper's kicking had been a feature of his game in the Reds first four matches, with an 82 per cent record, but he has since struggled with four from 10 in the last two weeks.

Before leaving for South Africa, the Wallabies five-eighth said he was looking forward to renewing one-on-one sessions with the retired 21-Test sharpshooter who assisted Cooper, James O'Connor, Matt Giteau and Kurtley Beale during last year's Tri-Nations.

Stormers fans won't be impressed to hear one of their former favourite sons, now a world-wide kicking consultant, is helping the enemy but neither will they be surprised after Beale credited van Straaten for his last-gasp 50m match-winner against the Springboks in Bloemfontein last year.

Van Straaten has aimed specifically on straightening Cooper's natural hook, which makes right-side attempts more difficult.

"We've really worked on that, getting through the ball and taking the big hook out of it and it's really helped me out," Cooper told AAP.

Harris, himself working hard to fix his own gremlins after struggling to field Lions kicks and bombs, said he expected Cooper to fix his technical problems.

"A week is a long time," he said.

"I imagine that if he's kicking well at training he'll retain the kicking duties but it's something we'll leave up to the team."

Meantime, Wallabies and Brumbies prop Guy Shepherdson is poised to make his Reds debut at Newlands if tight-head James Slipper (dangerous tackle) is suspended following a Monday night (AEST) judicial hearing in Cape Town.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2024 AAP

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