Quade has that 'winning' feeling

Fri, 27 Sep 2013 07:11
Large quade cooper aus train ct2 Large ewen mckenzie wallabies bal Large quade cooper aus train ct3 Large ewen mckenzie in stands Large quade cooper aus train ct

Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper has an on-off love-affair with Newlands, which he plans to rekindle on Saturday.

Wallaby playmaker Quade Cooper has an on-off love-affair with Newlands, which he plans to rekindle on Saturday.

South Africa host Australia in a crucial Rugby Championship match at the famous Cape Town stadium, the oldest Test venue in the world.

While the Wallabies have not won at Newlands in more than two decades (a then record 26-3 victory upon SA's return to the international stage in 1992), Cooper has tasted success with the Reds at the stadium - a 19-6 triumph over the Stormers two years ago.

The one member of the current Wallaby squad who know what winning at Newlands is like in a Test is coach Ewen McKenzie, who played tighthead prop for the World Cup-champion Australian team that demolished the Boks in Cape Town in '92.

Both Cooper and McKenzie spoke of having that 'winning feeling' again, ahead of Saturday's showdown.

"It is going to be a tough game," the flyhalf, Cooper, told a media scrum at the team's base in Newlands.

"The crowd and atmosphere at Newlands is always something to look forward to," the enigmatic flyhalf said.

"Something that I find about coming to South Africa is that they always appreciate a good game of rugby.

"They obviously support their team, they love the Springboks, but they also appreciate good rugby being played.

"Hopefully we can put a good game out there. Our team is looking forward to it and we are very much up for the game."

He also said that he relishes the opportunity to step out on the hallowed turf in the shadow of the imposing Table Mountain.

"I love it," he said, adding: "It is a good spot, a good place and the stadium is quite nice.

"I very much enjoy winning there."

McKenzie also reflected fondly on Australia's last triumph in Cape Town.

"I was here in '92," he said of the famous win, on a tour that marked the end of Springbok isolation.

"I enjoyed winning that game," the Wallaby coached quipped.

"I have fond memories [of Newlands]. I have been here plenty of times provincially [with the Reds] and won - it is very familiar territory and I feel very comfortable being here and very comfortable in that [Newlands] stadium.

"It is a very tough place to play, for sure, but for me personally I've had some of my finest football moments playing there.

"[I am] looking forward to the weekend being another one."

By Jan de Koning