Cooper rediscovers the magic
Sun, 10 Nov 2013 14:49
He bamboozled everyone
The awe-inspiring Quade Cooper of old returned against Italy in Turin on Saturday to lead the Wallabies to a 50-20 rout.
Cooper returned to his sensational form of 2010-11 as he orchestrated a seven-try thumping with his mercurial play-making skills at pivot.
The newly appointed Wallaby vice-captain created three of Australia’s five tries during his time on the park and was pleased with the team’s performance as well as his own.
"In recent times, that was probably one of my best games," said Cooper told AAP.
"Out on the field, I felt good but the team felt good as a whole and that's the most important thing.
"From an attack point of view, that really helps, having full confidence in the players around you and them having full faith in you."
Two-try hero Nick Cummins, one of the beneficiaries of Cooper’s creative attacking exploits, said the Reds flyhalf even had him guessing at times.
"He confused some of their blokes, some of our blokes, definitely me. At the end, the ball landed in my lap. There was no one there. He bamboozled everyone and I was left all alone by myself," Cummins said of his second try.
A relieved Ewen McKenzie said: "We showed some potency in attack and worked hard through the game to score those points, so there was consistency there, and we had to work hard in defence at different times.
"It was a really good scoreboard for us, particularly being 10 nil down - the guys worked through that and even in the end there we showed some character.”
McKenzie added that his Wallabies won’t get carried away.
"I won't feel things are back on track until we bunch a string of wins together."
Captain Ben Mowen, who scored his first Test try in the match, said there was no panic after the Azzuri raced into an early 10-point lead.
"An error here and there cost us, but we knew there was plenty of footy to go and we were patient," said Mowen.
"We struck back straight after that with a couple of quick tries. That really swung the momentum."
The Wallabies will look to make it back-to-back wins for the first time this season when they face Ireland next weekend.
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