A tough test awaits on Cheika's Wallabies

Tue, 04 Oct 2016 09:48
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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

 

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Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
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South Africa 6 2 0 4 10
Argentina 6 1 0 5 5