Austin's Chalkboard: Quade Cooper in Defence - Green and Gold Rugby

Austin’s Chalkboard: Quade Cooper in Defence

Austin’s Chalkboard: Quade Cooper in Defence

Quade Cooper’s stats in defence against Italy were much better than they’ve been recently — 100 per cent of tackles made and even a dominant tackle.

While the result was better, what changed? Was it the influence of Phil Blake? Did Quade just have a better approach to his defence? Or wasn’t he required to defend as much this week?

Watch the video for my take on what was happening.

[youtube width=”600″ height=”450″][/youtube]

  • Jnor

    Leg Drive!!!! Who’d have thought someone with such amazing footwork in attack could be so shithouse in defence? Especially considering the reports he was an effective tackler as a schoolboy as well….

  • Shane Sullivan

    Agree completely Austin. But I know he wants to improve and the Oz and Reds management need him to improve. And I have seen what he can do if he is commited to something. He may never be a great defensive Five Eight but I believe he will get better.

  • Scarfman

    Cheers Austin. Although it seems like the big message is that the Wobs have decided to hide him in defence. I’m not sure that’s a long term solution.

  • Linus

    If you go back and look at some S14 footage, I’m sure the Reds regularly hid him to. I hope that maybe a couple of months with link will see him on the improve.

  • Zeedok

    Nice analysis.

    Kurtley Beale is another player that was widely regarded as a turnstile only 18-24 months ago, but more recently he has been responsible for some try-savers.

    It might be worth comparing Kurtley c. 2008 to Kurtley c. 2010 to see how he improved — then send the link to QC!!

    • Quade 2008, you shouldn’t have asked!

      • Zeedok

        Ummm . . . I didn’t. I wanted the good news story that is KB!!

        Love the “Go the Tahs” tag at the end.

      • D.

        That is a classic. When I’ve had a shit day, I turn that on and it makes life okay again!!! I don’t think I’ll ever get sick of that video. Let’s hope that we don’t see another one of those any time soon though!

    • D.

      Kurtley was still a turnstile early in the year. He’s really turned it around as is looking the goods to keep that jersey for a long time.

  • farva

    Thats a quality french #8 at 2:25!

    But nice work either way. Lets hope he keeps improving.

    • Austin

      Italian – French – I was close!!

  • Pedro

    It looks like he’s dropping his head, taking his eyes off the player he’s trying to tackle. But mostly it looks like he doesn’t want to make contact.

  • Thanks heaps for the video analysis Austin – Its great to see Quade has had an improvement in defence, he really did have a great game… Just needs to make sure he watches the player, keeps that forward movement and lowers himself only when he steps right into his opponents ‘tackle zone’. I didn’t notice they were hiding him – but as mentioned I doubt its a long term strategy. Is it such a bad thing that he lets tackles go 80% complete if he knows the player will be taken down by his fellow team mates? I guess it is and it isn’t – on one hand its dangerous because we really wanna see the opponents go down – but on the other hand Quade allows himself to be ever present and mobile for the next movement.

  • Tome it looks like the tackles he made against Italy, the opposition were running directly at him as opposed to the Poms etc who stepped or moved around him or put a bit of a fend on him. It seems to me like he just gives up if he doesn’t get solid contact on the initial hit or he simply tries to grab with his hands.

    One on one against a decent runner he still looks flakey to me.

  • Reds fan

    You can’t hide a test or Super 15 player and make other people do his dirty work. Quade needs to learn how to tackle properly or be dropped. From the video you showed then I can’t see any improvement just a lesser opponent. Imagine if we had quick turnover ball, our key playmaker is stuck on the wing. How many times have we seen Mitchell go into fly half because Quade is on his wing. Robbie and Ewen are just hiding a problem not fixing it and they will be found out in big games.

  • dew-1

    Wasn’t aware Parisse played for France

    • Austin

      Italian – French – I was close!!

  • Sideshow

    He also has his contact shoulder too high. Drop your contact shoulder lower than your other shoulder and the force of the contact drives through your center of gravity and stops you bouncing off the tackle.


Scott is one of our regular contributors from the old days of G&GR. He has experience coaching Premier Grade with two clubs in Brisbane.

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