Cheika said he told Cooper when naming the flyhalf to start against the All Blacks that “there is nothing to prove here, this is not some type of test for you, this is about your doing your job for the team in the game”.
And Cooper later defended his performance, saying he was pleased with his 48-minute outing but obviously disappointed with the yellow card that turned the match on its head.
The All Blacks have added former sevens star Victor Vito to their starting line-up in an attempt to match the Wallabies at the crucial breakdown area with regular number six Jerome Kaino dropping to the bench.
Unhappy memories: Quade Cooper is taken out by Sonny Bill Williams at Eden Park in 2012.
“I thought he did well”.
But the game turned decisively in the All Blacks favour early in the second half when Cooper was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle on Aaron Smith, with a penalty try awarded as well. I want to enjoy playing here and when you have a loss like last week it makes you want to play even more.
Cheika said an important difference was that the All Blacks stepped up a level after losing 27-19 to the Wallabies in Sydney last week. He managed to bust the line and we just needed to make that tackle. We scrambled back and I was penalised. “I’ve loved every single minute of it”.
Asked if the result had dented their confidence of potentially winning the World Cup, Ashley-Cooper replied: “Not necessarily, we’ve just got to cop that one on the chin”.
The Wallaby was booed by the 48,000-strong crowd but said he was not rattled. Compared to all the Twickenhams and Murrayfields and whatever that I played in, it was the most foreboding. The Smith try was born through a poor kick from Matt Toomua, who turned in a flat performance after strong showings in recent weeks. He eventually tried his luck – and scored – when it was all over. “It’s more of what we expect from our group and this goes to show we were well off the pace last week”.
“It wasn’t like there was this awesome mountain to climb in the middle 80s – we expected to win”.
Both got on the scoresheet as well, with Nonu getting two tries. “We have to manage that better”.
Dan Carter added 16 points from the boot in captain Richie McCaw’s record 142nd test match as the world champions stamped an emphatic message to their challengers they would not relinquish the Webb Ellis trophy easily next month.
It felt like we were chasing the game a little bit. The tempo went up, definitely.
And just eight minutes into the second period, New Zealand got their reward as they were handed a penalty try.
“We learnt a massive lesson in 2007”.
“Sitting on the side near the end when we’re up by a few points I had a big grin on my face”.
The lanky ex-lock said the All Blacks persisted with tactics that weren’t working, such as using Brodie Retallick as a pivot wide of rucks where one bad pass would lead to another as the Australian defenders kept “steaming up”.