No Wallaby SOS for Cooper
Wed, 06 Jun 2012 12:28
It's not worth the risk and it would be negligent
Wallaby coach Robbie Deans is not prepared to hit the panic button just yet, despite suffering the indignity of losing the first game of their international season for the second year in a row.
The Wallabies suffered an embarrassing and demoralising 6-9 loss to lowly Scotland as they prepare to take on fired-up Six Nations champions Wales on Saturday.
Australia crashed to minnows Samoa in their opener last year.
Deans told a media scrum on Wednesday that there would be no recall for mercurial flyhalf Quade Cooper to face Wales on Saturday.
The Wallaby mentor sent his star No.10 back to the Reds to get his fitness back after a seven-month lay-off, following his post-World Cup knee surgery.
Deans started with Waratahs ace Berrick Barnes against Scotland in Newcastle on Tuesday, but he failed to get past a resolute Scottish defence - despite 35 minutes spent camped in the visitors' territory in the second half.
And despite that failure - a first home defeat to the Scots since 1982 - Deans is adamant about not sending an SOS to Cooper.
"There is no chance of bringing Quade Cooper back into the squad," Deans told the media. "It's not worth the risk and it would be negligent, it could compromise him and possibly the team."
Deans, who vowed to learn from their loss to the Scots, admitted they would have to lift their game considerably against the northern hemisphere champions, Wales.
"We knew what this week was going to be like and we gave a lot of thought to our combinations. Even so, we came up short in the first instance," admitted Deans.
"Our plans for the weekend started the moment the final whistle blew on Tuesday night and we know there are significant areas of our game that will have to improve.
"If any of the Australian players had forgotten what Test rugby is like it is looming large in their minds now. The players are back in the groove of Test rugby and face a massive game on Saturday."
Wednesday is a recovery day for the bruised and battered Wallabies, before they turn their attention to the first of three games against Wales, in Brisbane.
"We've got another Test match on Saturday, first thing we'll have to do is recover and look at the blokes," he said.
"We'll select 22 for Saturday, some who would have played against Scotland. We'll have to assess how the guys pull up."
The Wallabies said they would learn from Tuesday's loss, with scrumhalf Will Genia saying: "The conditions played a big part in the game, we had plenty of possession and we had to tick the scoreboard over and we didn't.
"We'll go away and we'll prepare as well as we can, it's a new Test match, it's a new game," he added ahead of the Wales game. "We'll learn from this match."
The Welsh will be a big test for the Wallabies, having made clear they are fired up after being beaten by Australia in the bronze play-off at last year's Rugby World Cup.
Deans said his team must learn how to close out the match after a gutsy defensive display by the Scots - ranked 12th in the world - in the second half.
"We had enough possession to put the game out of reach and credit to Scotland, we just couldn't put them away," he said.
"We started the second half really well, we had momentum and in conditions like that when you don't turn the score board over things get messier as the game goes on. We lacked co-ordination to get the job done."
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