Super Cooper to chance his arm in final - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Super Cooper to chance his arm in final

Jim Morton 07/07/2011 05:51:11 PM Comments (0)

Quade Cooper insists the pressure-cooker of a Super Rugby final is no time for himself or the freewheeling Queensland Reds to play it safe on Saturday night.

Queensland's excitement machine says he will continue to roll the dice against the Crusaders at Suncorp Stadium and coach Ewen McKenzie has again given him a licence to thrill.

Cooper was at his mesmerising best in the 30-13 semi-final triumph over the Blues last Saturday, making a mockery of the belief play-offs require solid and steady play rather than risk and razzle-dazzle.

Queensland's players do know they must be careful to limit their mistakes against the Crusaders, who have made an art out of punishing turnovers with their clinical counter-attack.

But Cooper says the Reds play their best when they treat the field like a backyard and he won't alter his attacking philosophy for the decider.

"I don't try and go away from it or play anything different to suit critics or other people wanting certain things. I just go out and do what I have to do for the team," the 24-Test five-eighth told AAP.

"It's exciting to some but, for us, it's just how we play. No changes will be made. That's how we've played all year.

"Our mindset is always to go out there and express ourselves and enjoy ourselves and come out to win.

"Where better to do it than in front of 50,000 people in a massive backyard, so that's what I see it as, and just playing the game I'm used to."

McKenzie denied he held any thoughts of reining his mercurial playmaker in.

"I don't spend any time telling Quade 'no'," he said. "Saying no to creative people is not a profitable way to coach. I figure you get more out of encouraging."

While the hard-working Reds' forward pack have finally won their plaudits in laying the platform for a top-of-the-table finish, Queensland's hopes largely lie in the creativity and game management of Cooper and Wallabies' partner Will Genia.

Cooper was outplayed by peerless No.10 Daniel Carter in the Reds' epic 17-16 win over the Crusaders five weeks ago but Genia was the man of the match.

Crusaders' coach Todd Blackadder stresses his side needs to shut both down to win a cherished eighth title.

"I just have to take my hat off to Genia and Cooper," Blackadder said. "The Reds have played brilliant rugby this year.

"Quade Cooper is just sublime - he did things in the semi-final that were just unbelievable but he's been doing it every week."

Brought to you by AAP AAP © 2023 AAP

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