Quade has no regrets about McCaw push - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Quade has no regrets about McCaw push

Jim Morton 28/05/2011 03:09:29 PM Comments (0)

Quade Cooper admits he wouldn't do it again but has no regrets about the Bledisloe Cup cheap shot on Richie McCaw which has put an even bigger target on his back at Suncorp Stadium.

Cooper's post-try head push on the grounded All Blacks skipper as the Wallabies scored a last-gasp win in Hong Kong last October has not been forgotten by McCaw, who will lead the Crusaders into Sunday's Super Rugby blockbuster against Queensland.

The world's best back-rower this week said he didn't take kindly to the act and would make the most of any chance to pay the Reds' Test playmaker back in legal fashion.

Cooper is fully braced for whatever comes his way but expected it would be nothing more than what he received from some "wily, experienced old blokes" in Hong Kong.

"Through that game there was a lot of niggle everywhere and the emotion of the game got the better of me," the gifted five-eighth told AAP.

"Everyone asks 'Do you regret it?' No, I don't regret it but if I had that time over again I guess I've learnt from that and I wouldn't be as silly to do that.

"I'd go and celebrate with my teammates and shake his hand after the game."

Cooper pointed to continued physical niggle rather than sledging that caused his temper to boil over before James O'Connor kicked the match-winning conversion.

"All the wily, experienced old blokes who really know all the nooks and crannies where you can get a fair bit of niggle in there," he said, expecting more similar tactics in the breakdown.

"They're the masters of that and hopefully we can control that and slow it down and play the game at our pace."

The playmaking showdown between Cooper and Dan Carter will go a long way to deciding whether Queensland can continue their 11-match streak at Suncorp Stadium.

Reds coach Ewen McKenzie has highlighted the importance of the Carter-Cooper duel while Crusaders danger man Sonny Bill Williams has rated Cooper more skilful than league great Andrew Johns at his peak.

But the Reds pack well know they must lift significantly at scrum time to match the Crusaders benchmark park which has taken scalps from some of the competition's best front-rows this season.

Giving an expected Australian record Super Rugby crowd of 43,000-plus confidence Queensland can extend their ladder lead is Cooper's ability to produce some of his best rugby against the Crusaders.

The 23-year-old bagged a record 31-point haul in last year's round two 41-20 upset in Brisbane, a victory which sparked the Reds rugby resurgence.

This challenge will be tougher though as the seven-time champions won't be vulnerable to an ambush.

Queensland have worked hard on nullifying Williams' off-loading game but are wary of paying either he or Carter too much attention.

"If we concentrate on just one player they will cut holes through us in every other place on the field," Cooper said.

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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