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Hooper: Why I went for the try

Sat, 16 Aug 2014 19:17
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We wanted to win the game
Quote-end

Wallaby captain Michael Hooper believes he made the right call at the right time, despite it costing his team a likely victory.

Australia scored a 12-all draw against New Zealand in Sydney on Saturday, denying the All Blacks a chance to claim world record.

The World Cup holders, New Zealand, were chasing a record 18 straight victories, but were denied by their Bledisloe Cup rivals, the Wallabies, in wet, slippery conditions.

The draw means the New Zealanders equalled, but could not better, the 17-Test winning runs of the 1965 to 1969 All Blacks and 1997 to 1998 Springboks.

Hooper said he had no regrets for turning down two penalty kicks at goal in favour of scrums in the last minutes, before half-time when the Wallabies were trailing 9-3.

"We felt like we started to get the upper hand," the Wallaby skipper said.

"They had a [yellow] card," he added.

"I felt we could get the ascendancy there. So you look around at the boys there and Swoop [vice captain Adam Ashley-Cooper] and myself [had] a discussion about how we are feeling.

"And we felt like our tails were up then and [had] started to get close.

"There were a few instances there where we were a few metres out. Different things could have happened. If you can get that try there it's a whole different game."

Wallaby coach Ewen McKenzie, although "obviously" disappointed, backed his captain's calls.

"We wanted to win the game," McKenzie said.

"All our preparation is about winning. We don't go out there to have draws … It's a bit of a hollow outcome.

"There is some good stuff we can take out of it, and it wasn't a loss; but we are out there to try and win games.

"I send messages and the like, but you don't get to control it from the coach's box. We talk about things and what we want to do.

"What we did say is that we want to go out there and take a few risks, and we want to up the tempo and we did better carrying the ball at them.

"We did much better carrying the ball at the in the second half. Conditions weren't favourable, but we still went out there with intent."

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