Quade ready to rumble the 'Tahs at Suncorp - Green and Gold Rugby
NSW Waratahs

Quade ready to rumble the ‘Tahs at Suncorp

Quade ready to rumble the ‘Tahs at Suncorp

Quade Cooper is done sitting on the sidelines.

The mercurial flyhalf paid the price for a reckless high-tackle in Johannesburg with a three-week suspension but returned to steer Queensland to a flashy win over the Southern Kings in Round Nine.

Despite cooling his heels with a frustrating bye since then, Cooper is confident that the Waratahs are ripe for leapfrogging at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday night.

“You only have to speak to guys around the team like (Former State of Origin representatives) Karmichael [Hunt] and Brad Thorn to feel the energy coming off them in the lead-up to a game like this,” Cooper said.

“The New South Wales vs Queensland clashes in the past have always been hotly contested and having a win in our last game makes us hungry for more victories.

“There’s a very good opportunity to leapfrog some teams and climb our way back up the ladder.”

The Brumbies second-half capitulation in Wellington leaves Queensland only fractionally off the pace on the all-important Australian conference leaderboard.

A win over the embattled Waratahs could open up a two-horse race between the Reds and the conference-topping Brumbies for a guaranteed finals match at home.

While the Waratahs 26-24 loss to the lowly Kings in Sydney last week shocked the rugby public, Cooper says his side couldn’t care less.

“There’s no complacency in this group and we can’t afford to be [complacent against the Waratahs].

“We’re focusing on training hard this week and leaving no stone unturned to go into this clash ready to go and hopefully get a victory.”

Quade Cooper and Bernard Foley scores vs South Africa 2016

Cooper’s words ring true as the fixture pits a significant number of Michael Cheika’s Wallabies against one other.

No match-up will have more influence on Australian Rugby’s blockbuster grudge-match then that of Cooper and New South Wales’ Wallaby flyhalf Bernard Foley.

Cooper played down the influence of a personal duel but admitted their rivalry was still burning in the back of his mind.

“[Foley] and I have played alongside each other for a long time now so there’s always going to be a healthy rivalry.

“He’s been the cornerstone of [the Waratahs] attack for a long period and I think a little more responsibility is falling on ‘Nard’s shoulders (without the presence of Kurtley Beale).

“He’s a great threat in terms of his running game and he’s a good communicator,” Cooper said. “If we stop the ball at him then Izzy Folau doesn’t get the ball and he’s probably their best attacking weapon,” Cooper said.

Queensland take on New South Wales for the 305th time since 1882 on Saturday night at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Buy your tickets HERE

  • Adrian

    Both sides have a lot to prove.
    I’d prefer it if the players said nothing, but I realise they more or less have to!

    • joy

      He was pretty tame.

    • Brisneyland Local

      At least he didnt say they are playing for a bonus point!

  • Brisneyland Local

    Dont know about the rest of you GAGR’s, but I am actually looking forward to this game. I am hoping it is a tough competition, played hard and fair.

    If it is a lowskilled crappy game, a “Shit fest” so to speak, I will lose my bundle!

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      I’m thinking they’ll both go for broke as they haven’t got anything to lose. I also think if they play right even the losing team can gain some respect here – as long as their attitude is good. Going to be a cracker and I’m backing Reds at home for the win mate.

      • Brisneyland Local

        Thanks mate, I hope so too. The interesting thing for me is that the Reds seem to be gagging to get out on the paddock! Where as the Tahs last weekend clearly demonstrated that they didnt want to be there!

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yep. There’s something very wrong with the Tahs

        • Brisneyland Local

          I think there still is with the Reds but am hoping we have turned the corner, and got some of that confidence back. What we need are some of the skills back, like catching and passing!

      • Waz_dog

        Not sure about that – Reds have a lot to gain from putting the Tahs to the sword. We win this and we’re in good stead to make a tilt at the AC1 spot.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          Yeah that’s true but if either team loses they may as well throw the season away

        • Waz_dog

          If the Reds win there’s the finals carrot to chase. If the Tahs win their season is still stuffed so the Reds have a lot to lose out of this game. On top of that, this is the grudge game of Australia – the boys will be up and about for this one.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          I think so too mate. Backing the Reds by 7

    • Huw Tindall

      Arguably the two worst coached teams in Australia right now…wouldn’t hope for a block buster. I’m usually an optimist but this sh!t is starting to get me down!

      • Brisneyland Local

        Huw, I am with you! But for some reason, with both of these teams, there is the need to prove themselves to their fan base for the shite they have been serving up all year!

      • Waz_dog

        Disagree – Reds have only been shown up from go to woe against the Lions who they played at home and where last year’s finalist. Reds have been bloody unlucky with a couple of these games.

  • Adrian

    The trouble with this game, is that both sides are on a hiding to nothing.

    The winner will only have beaten a habitual “looser”, and the looser will be scorned even more

    • Kiwi rugby lover

      Yeah but then again nothing to lose so they may as well go for broke

  • phil peake

    Folau the best attacking weapon!

    • Adrian

      He’s not bad, and wasn’t that bad on the weekend

      • phil peake

        Hes been underwhelming in attack and poor in defence for years. I’d like to see what he can do off the bench against a tiring opposition. Might do him some good too.

        • Kiwi rugby lover

          A large part of this is playing out of position and that old “give it to Folau and step back” that he’s had to put up with for years. He’s lost his mojo and I’m not sure Gibson and Cheika are the right people to get it back

        • phil peake

          You might be right. I think the fact he’s never been treated like the other players has hampered his development. He’s never been dropped, even when out of form, always picked first, never really had to fight for his spot, treated generously by media, never played for his club rugby club. How does that help him?

  • Adrian

    As a Waratahs supporter, I’m interested in the teams selected.

    Both teams have some great players, just as each team have a few duds or over the hill players.

    In my memory the Tahs are mostly favourites, but the Reds mostly win.

    This time, I think the Reds are favourites, which might help the Tahs, …. who will be hurting unbelievably.

    I want the Tahs to pick Phipps, even if it’s on the wing. He has played 1.5 tests there, and has fantastic defence, including cover defence. He also never gives up. I think the Tahs have missed him, even though they’ve gained a lot from Gordon

    • Will

      Don’t know about Phipps. He’s been playing very poorly of late. You can tell he is trying hard but after all these years his pass is still all over the place. He needs a pack that can help him snipe and get some space to move – the Tahs pack is the worst I’ve seen in years at the moment.

  • joy

    test

  • Waz_dog

    Match up that’ll have the most influence will be Hunt v Issy. Tahs come up here with the same attitude as last week and we’ll tear you a new one.

    • Will

      I’m a Tahs fan and well and truly hope you do should they not turn up again. At this stage I just want to see a team of blokes realise the opportunity they have and play with a bit of passion. AUS rugby needs these two teams strong, as it stands the wallabies will be taking a similar IRB ladder slide like the Boks did last year.

      • Waz_dog

        Too nice Will – screw the Wallabies saga. Any opportunity to smash the Tahs I relish. Hoping the cold in Sydney is cause for skelton to get a couple more bakery runs in this week!

NSW Waratahs
@http://www.twitter.com/NicDarveniza

Nic is a freelance journalist who first tried his hand writing for Green & Gold Rugby as a schoolboy. Five years on, Nic is our resident expert on Brisbane’s local rugby scene not named RugbyReg. In April 2018 Nic releases his first book, the official biography of Waisale Serevi entitled 'Waisale Serevi: The King of Sevens'.

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