Outburst from Cooper mars impressive Australia win
Published 27/07/2015 | 02:37
Just hours after Australia had seen off Argentina to set up a Rugby Championship showdown against New Zealand, question marks were again raised about the squad’s unity after a bizarre tweet from Quade Cooper.
The out-half was dropped for the bonus-point victory in Mendoza on Saturday and when he was summoned from the bench, Cooper was sent to the sin bin for a late high tackle on Matias Moroni.
Following the 34-9 victory, Cooper tweeted: “Invite me to youre (sic) next team discussion then ask me how much I give a f*** about your team selection? Zero f***s given.....”
The tweet was deleted soon after with Cooper apologising for his outburst and it remains unclear who the message was aimed at.
Cooper had agreed to join Toulon following the World Cup but last week reversed his decision and is reportedly set to sign a four-year contract with the ARU which resulted in Mourad Boudjellal considering suing the union for “millions”.
Australia, wary of their hosts after a 21-17 loss in the same venue last year, dominated early on but had to wait until the 18th minute for their first try, which came when Israel Folau opened up the defence to put Joe Tomane over in the corner.
But they struggled to make a further impression before the break and penalties kept Argentina close, with Australia leading 8-6 at half-time.
Bernard Foley kicked two penalties after the interval to give Australia a 14-6 lead before Nicolas Sanchez replied in kind for Los Pumas.
Dean Mumm marked his return to international rugby with a try, bursting through two tackles to power his way over.
Cooper’s yellow card didn’t help the Wallabies’ cause and although Foley kicked a fourth penalty, Australia couldn’t breathe easy until late tries from Tevita Kuridrani and Adam Ashley-Cooper.
Meanwhile, New Zealand maintained their winning record with a pulsating win over South Africa in Johannesburg.
With the All Blacks 20-17 down and staring at a second successive defeat to the Springboks for the first time in six years, Richie McCaw scored to send the reigning world champions on to a 27-20 triumph.
The Boks led for long periods through tries from Willie le Roux and Jesse Kriel but they faltered right at the death.
New Zealand’s patience paid off as Ben Smith scored a vital try on the stroke of half-time before scores from Dane Coles and McCaw clinched the victory.