A tough test awaits on Cheika's Wallabies

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 09:48
Large quade cooper 800

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper admits Australia have to improve their attack when facing an Argentina side keen for revenge at Twickenham Stadium in London.

The Wallabies are preparing for a scorned Argentina side hellbent on exacting revenge for their Rugby World Cup semifinal exit at the hands of Michael Cheika's men.

The two sides will face off at the venue of their World Cup showdown, Twickenham Stadium, in their final Rugby Championship clash of the year.

And key Wallabies playmaker Quade Cooper says Los Pumas will have revenge on their minds after Australia ended their World Cup with a gritty 29-15 victory in the final four.

"They're going to be a tough side and they're going to want to rectify firstly [a 20-36 loss to Australia in] Perth and also the semifinal," Cooper said.

"They played well and left a few opportunities out on the field as well.

"So they're going to come out all guns blazing but we understand that,"

What Cooper won't find acceptable is a failure to capitalise on scoring chances, as happened in last weekend's loss to South Africa.

"They were obviously doing everything they could, putting their bodies on the line.

"But we blew a lot of opportunities. We've just got to be better.

"It's not necessarily us being frantic, but just taking opportunities when they come rather than waiting an extra phase to be a little bit more safe,"

A key figure in the hard-nosed determination Australia will need to feed off in order to secure a victory could well be damaging No.8 Leroy Houston.

The power-running back row forward was only called into Cheika's squad on Monday following the loss of Sean McMahon to an ankle injury on top of the hand injury suffered by regular No.8 David Pocock.

But even before joining the team for their first training session on Monday, Houston was making his mark felt. His first action when arriving into camp was to apologise to his teammates for the carnage he expects to unleash at training this week - all in order to catch the eye of Cheika and win a maiden Test cap.

"Because he's going to go very hard in training," Cooper smiled.

"If he knocks a few of us on our backs he's already said his apologies for that.

"As a person, he's such a genuine bloke. He's got such a kind heart.

"When we come to training, he's going to be out there basically trying to take our heads off because he wants this spot.

"That's what it means to the whole team, but a guy like him coming in ... that's what he can add to the team,"

Sources: sbs.com.au & AAP

 

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 23 February 2018
Highlanders v Blues 06h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Reds 08h45 Melbourne
Munster v Glasgow Warriors 19h00 Irish Independent Park
Dragons v Edinburgh 19h30 Rodney Parade
Leinster v Kings 19h35 RDS
Scarlets v Ulster 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
France v Italy 20h00 Paris
Sat, 24 February 2018
Sunwolves v Brumbies 04h15 Tokyo
Crusaders v Chiefs 06h35 Christchurch
Waratahs v Stormers 08h45 Allianz Park
Treviso v Connacht 12h00 Stadio Monigo
Bath v Sale Sharks 12h30 Recreation Ground
Lions v Jaguares 13h05 Johannesburg
Exeter Chiefs v Northampton Saints 14h00 Sandy Park
Ireland v Wales 14h15 Aviva Stadium
Gloucester v Wasps 14h30 Kingsholm
Harlequins v Newcastle Falcons 15h00 Twickenham Stoop
Bulls v Hurricanes 15h15 Loftus Versfeld
Scotland v England 16h45 BT Murrayfield
Ospreys v Cheetahs 17h30 Liberty Stadium
Sun, 25 February 2018
Zebre v Cardiff Blues 13h00 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
London Irish v Worcester Warriors 13h00 Madejski Stadium
Saracens v Leicester Tigers 15h30 Allianz Park
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0