Cooper vigilant of Foley factor

Mon, 24 Apr 2017 09:42

SUPER RUGBY NEWS: Reds flyhalf Quade Cooper labelled his duel with Waratahs flyhalf Bernard Foley as 'healthy rivalry' ahead of their Super Rugby match in Round 10.

Cooper and Foley have been playing alongside each other for Australia under head coach Michael Cheika, but coming Saturday the pair will be on the opposite ends of the spectrum.

Both will be eager to stamp their authority on the game and prove who is worthy of wearing the number 10 jumper for Australia.

"We have played alongside each other for a while, so there is always going to be a healthy rivalry, " Cooper said.  

"Everyone wants to start for [Australia], but now it is about my role for the Reds.

"The personal dual is a thing that is always at the back of your mind," he added.

Cooper has praised  Foley's leadership and communication prowess and advised his side to isolate the pivot this coming Saturday.

"Foley has been the cornerstone of their attack, obviously with Kurtley Beale being there over the past few years - those two have had a good combination.

"It's been a little bit different not having [Beale] there so more is falling on [Foley's] shoulders.

"He's a great threat in terms of his running game, he's a good communicator in what I've had to do with him.

"If we can stop the ball by him, it means that Israel Folau doesn’t get the ball. And that's going to put us in a good position," he explained.

Reds head into the clash fresh from a bye week. The side have only managed to win two of their eight matches thus far but found themselves second in the Australian Conference.

Cooper believes that a win against the Waratahs - who suffered a humiliating 24-26 defeat against the Kings - can launch their bid to gain the top spot.

"We have to focus on playing well, winning, and continuing to do that.

“We cannot afford to be complacent.

" We have to go into this match well-prepared and leave no stone unturned and hopefully get the victory.

"Our next four games, we face three Australians teams [and the Chiefs away], so we have a pretty good chance to go top of the Australian conference,"

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Thu, 25 May 2017
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Ascoli Piceno
SUPER RUGBY
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19