The Statistical Case For Quade Cooper - Green and Gold Rugby
British & Irish Lions

The Statistical Case For Quade Cooper

The Statistical Case For Quade Cooper

Amongst all the angst and hysteria of yellow jerseys being called yellow and not gold. And the dramas of the toxic environment comments. And the thousands of comments, articles and forum threads devoted to Quade Cooper being or not being selected for the Wallabies squad. It seems to me that  one small fact seems to  have been neglected.

How do the wallabies go with and without Quade Cooper?

Quade had been playing for the Wallabies since 2008 and has played in 38 of the 71 matches played since then. Because Quade played all the matches at the world cup I haven’t added a seperate chart for them although they are included in the ‘all games’ section.

As you can see with Cooper the Wallabies have won many more games than with out him. This table shows just how stark the difference is.

Wallabies Bledisloe CupCoopers Bledisloe CupWallabies TRCCooper TRCWallabies All GamesCooper All Games
Win %8.33%40.00%26.67%61.54%48.48%68.42%

The fact that his win percentage is much higher than the Wallabies against the quality opposition in Bledisloe cup games and Rugby Championship games speaks volumes for his big match temperament.

I’ll leave it to you to make your own conclusions on this subject.
Given his form in Super Rugby and these statistics in my opinion the only reasons Robbie Deans has to leave Quade Cooper out of the Wallabies squad would have to be personal.

Here’s some Cooper vision to remind you what he can do.

  • MM

    Yep agreed, and I think Deans is a vindictive bastard. I hope I’m wrong though.

    • BloodRed

      Nope, you’re right

    • Steve O

      I’m not one of ‘those haters’ but Robbie Deans makes me really angry about his logic (or lack thereof) team selections, riddles, game plans and most of all his authoritarian attitude. IMO If we pick McCabe at 12 we’re going backwards. QC is paying a higher price than the monitory fine he was given for his toxic rant. I guess he has to take that on the chin. It won’t only penalise him though will it!

  • Noizey

    Seems a bit toxic to me….

  • Zen

    This isn’t a stats case at all. It shows Wallabies win percentage, not Quade Cooper’s stats as an individual. Dribble.

    • So you see no trend in the statistics presented? And I’m sorry you have a dribbling problem.

      • A. Fox-Russell

        I’m a believer. I think he is rubbish under pressure and if North is charging down on our try line with one man to beat, I don’t back Quade to stop him. However, I do back Quade to have created enough opportunities in the previous minutes of the game to have the Wallabies in a decent position, be it scoreline or momentum.

        So I guess that makes the question: is Quade’s attacking prowess more than a compensation for Quade’s defence and pressure-coping qualities?

        For all my followers out there waiting for my response, I say yes. OK, back to work.

        • Yin Yang

          Yeh mate, Quade can’t defend. Oldest one in the book. He flattened Rene Ranger – considered one of the hardest men to tackle in world rugby – and yet you still don’t believe he can tackle? In comparison, James O’Connor was thrown around by the same man like a rag doll. He is a brilliant flyhalf who is not only in form, but has the stats to back it up. I’m just saying… I think he deserves more credit for his defence than he gets.

        • BloodRed

          You forgot to point out that even though JOC was wearing 10, he was defending at 15 (gasp) when he was hurt getting trampled by Ranger

        • Fulltime

          Yes on your question :” is Quade’s attacking prowess more… ”

          but I do think that he can defend and that he has matured. I truly hope that Deans & co will select QC. I must add that because he reminds (reminded) me of Carlos Spencer, I didn’t like him, but I think that’s he should be part of the Wallabies squad. From Aotearoa …Go the Wallabies.

          PS / This stats have been shown, used before.

    • BloodRed

      Actually the win-loss ratio is the only stat that counts

  • Chris

    Unfortunately objectivity is not a trait possessed by Deans & quade haters. He is an experienced test player, currently in great form but has pissed off Robbie Deans & rugby establishment – not long and Deans will be history – patience

    • If the ARU had some balls they would escalate the process.

  • Karen

    Nice image Sportography and timely article…is the decision already inked, dry and disappointing?

    • They’d have to have made their decisions by now. They’ve started leaking it to the media

      • ben

        It’s madness…….the first test is at Suncorp no less. Not having genia nd cooper together at suncorp is nuts. The Wallabies will loose the first test, then we will see Cooper.

        • Yin Yang

          And then he will be put under immense pressure to perform well having not been properly integrated into the team. He will then be scape goated and it will be all Quades fault… again

        • redbull

          fuck, have you already seen this movie?

        • Wilson

          Don’t worry this is just the dark 2nd act, it sets it up for McKenzie to come in and select cooper, saving the wallabies and winning the world cup.

        • bill

          I don’t know who they’ve picked and despite all the signs etc I’m quite happy not to jump to any conclusions, but I’ve been in the crowd at Ballymore when the ref made some unpopular decisions. The crowd did quite a loud and clear “the ref is a dickhead” chant for 5 or 10 minutes on occasion. That was about 17000 people. Lang park will be 50000. To be fair a great many of whom will be lions supporters. Still.

          If Robbie doesn’t pick Cooper I’d say he may want to bring some earmuffs to go with his blinkers.

        • redbull

          “Robbie is a wanker”???

        • bill

          I was thinking “fuck off Robbie, fuck off” has an easy cadence. I dunno, it’d be a bit mean to say the least, but the more I think of what wallabies rugby has become the less civilised I become.

        • bill

          On second thought I suppose if people were motivated enough to have a chant the classier thing to do would be chant “we want Quade” ad nauseum… I have a suspicion that if all the popular supposition about Quade and Robbie’s relationship were correct that would get under Robbie’s skin far more than any amount of abuse.

          everything could be sweet though. I’d tend to agree with others that Quade by himself isn’t enough, and until Robbie changes he’s better off out of the team.

        • BloodRed

          Yeah, spoiler alert next time

  • Damo

    I believe

  • MST

    Yep, I am convinced. The stats speak for themselves. Pick Cooper. Not that we are lowering the bar to…below 70%….that’s acceptable right? I wonder if this could also be used to show why he didn’t get picked – because you the Wallaby supporter is sick of settling for not good enough and second best?

    • bazzar

      Because QC is the best out of the options actually available to us.

    • USARugger

      Erm I guess you don’t realize that 68.42% is a better winning percentage than any Australian coach has ever achieved outside of Macqueen…

    • Graeme

      I wish the Wallabies had a 100% win rate. I’d also quite like to be as rich as Bill Gates, and married to Claudia Schiffer. But unfortunately reality isn’t the same as my wishful thinking

  • Mattyjinoz

    I actually hope he isnt picked so that he can play the house down for the reds against the Lions. Then he will be called up as part of the extra six and the rest will be history.

    • redbull

      I hope he isn’t picked, plays great for the Reds and helps us get one up on the Wallabies, then still still isn’t picked for the Wallabies, the Lions record a 3-0 series win, and Deans and his managerial bullshit talk can fuck off.

      • Klaus

        Problem with that Redbull is that Quade is half the player when Genia isn’t playing next to him and personally Genia isn’t the full package without Quade. QC won’t be able to show we he can truly do in that Qld game if Genia isn’t inside him due to the defence having to look at both Genia and Cooper and not just focusing on Quade.

        • first time long time

          Did you watch the reds last year when it was Genia without QC? He wasn’t anywhere near as effective.
          You hit the nail on the head about the opposition having to look at both of them, that means they have to be together, so why not play them against the lions

      • Awesome.

    • Graeme

      I’d like that also. But it’s not very realistic. With the reds missing Genia, Horwill and the rest of the Wallabies, it wouldn’t really matter if Quade played the game of his life, he would still have to contend with poor ball and aggressive containment from the best of the nations. It’s a bit of a no win situation.

      • mattyjinoz

        I believe that will come down to who Robbie picks as his forward contingent for the first squad. Horwill will be there but Simmons is a big question mark. Gill seems to be in the outer thanks to the Southern media and the push for Smith (no complaints but an observation) and Hooper being the preferred two.

        Realistically the Reds will lose a few and they have the depth to cover. So you’re comment around poor ball will could be a bit off the mark. I like Big Ed Donaghue as he has the abrasive mindset, the loosies have proven themselves against the s15 teams and as for the backline – me gods it is stacked. Quade will have the tools around him, its just how he uses them.

        Robbie your bias towards the Waratahs will be your downfall. Link will show you how its done with the “B” Reds – even if they lose in a tight contest.

  • Klaus

    Yep from Jim Morton’s article it looks like McCabe( who can’t get a start at his club) and Barnes are in and Cooper out. I won’t go as far as saying that I hope the Wallabies lose but I am sick of Deans and want him gone. It’s not just Cooper he keeps picking players that aren’t test quality in those positions and generally doesn’t have option B if option A isn’t working. McCabe yes he has heart but he wouldn’t be ranked in the top 10 World 12’s. Australia should have if the not the best, ranked 2nd for Inside centre in the world. McCalman was another selection he stuck with and TPN over Moore last year was another. The list goes on Deans = joke. Hurry up and pack your kit and head home to Canterbury Deans. I and I think the majority of Australian Fans have had enough.

    • Parker

      I wish the majority of Australian fans who are fed up would vote with their wallets. Instead we keep going to see a team of proud Australians compete against their opponents AND their own substandard coach. The Lions games are sellouts. We are like addicts who think that somehow the next dose will cure us. But all we get is disappointed and further in the hole. Just look back at all the good players Deans has ruined, the opportunities squandered, the bodies injured because of inappropriate conditioning, the games lost for f*** sake. You want Robbie to leave? Do something about it. All it would take would be a concerted effort to not buy a ticket to the game. Take on the name of Australians in Support of Australian Rugby and boycott a game or two until Robbie is fired.

      I am disappointed that as rugby fans we have tolerated Robbie’s ruination for so long. Isn’t it time we put our money where are hearts are and exercise a little discipline on game to bring its behavior back on track? But first we have to be disciplined ourselves. And I bet it wouldn’t have to be for long. Given the dubious finances of the ARU, they would be quick to appoint an acceptable coach and we’d back in the stands screaming our heads off at Wallabies playing great rugby and lifting both our spirits and the standards of greatness that is the heritage of Australian Rugby.

      In the meantime, what will it matter if QC is selected? Robbie will impose a stifling directive ( I can’t call it a game plan) that will squander the immense potential that is Oz rugby at the moment and dash the hopes of players and fans alike.

  • Klaus

    On another note. Barnes got voted Man of the series against the Welsh last year. i personally believe the Welsh were terrible. Preistland had a shocking series and they blew many chance to win that series. The Wallabies just scraped through each game with a boring and predicatable game plan, we did not play well and don’t deserve high praise for beating a team well off the pace. If we play the same team that played the Welsh or close to against the Lions it will be bloodshed.

    • BloodRed

      BB was good in the first game but I agree with your assessment of the next 2. That second game was when the wallabies began to lose the capacity to play rugby.

    • USARugger

      Thank you thank you thank you.

      To his credit Barnes had some very bright individual moments on the tour. Still think his best game ever though was at 12 inside Quade in the Bronze Final.

      • Graeme

        I think Barnes is quite a good 12. He’s a poor decision maker, which for me is the most important attribute for a 10, and despite a some others opinions, is Quades greatest attribute. Apart from some of his decision making and tactical kicking, Barnes is a very, very good and worthy 12.

        • Yin Yang

          Agreed! He works so well inside Quade. They are opposite personalities and combine so well

    • Seaweed

      Spot on. That series was abysmal.

    • Ruckin’ Oaf

      It does look as though the Wallabies that only narrowly beat Wales are now playing the Lions. Does not bode well

  • Blinky Bill of Bellingen

    Being dim and untrusting, I’m more into gut feelings than stats. And my gut tells me that Quade is no longer the complete knob that he once was.

    To me he’s matured in his play & decision making. IMHO he and Sanchez are Australian Rugby’s ‘odd couple’ and make a wonderful partnership that gives us a real edge over the B&I Lions, if used to their strengths.

    The Brits may well see QC as our greatest weakness but I’d wager they’ll change their tune when they see the 2013 version of our best 10.

    Come on Robbie back Quade and let’s go for it!

    • St Saens

      Agree totally with BBoB (and Sully). Australian rugby’s ‘odd couple’…who if managed at test level by a competent coach, could be long remembered as one of our greatest halves pairings.
      PS… note to BBoB: thank you for your quietly measured, thoughtful and polite comments over recent years. Your thoughts are always worth reading.

  • Henry123

    Hey let’s pick Nick Cummins he’s never lost the All Blacks how good is that!! Seriously GAGR, you usually post reasonable content but this is just a crap pro-Quade argument that has no basis at all. Disappointed to say the least.

    • No basis at all? I guess you didn’t actually read the article. I’ll give you the cliff notes version.
      71 wallaby tests
      38 with QC 68% win ratio
      33 without QC 49% win ratio
      We all have bias. What’s yours?

    • Dougs

      The article was called the “statistical case”. It merely referred to the statistics of the Wallabies win/loss with Quade vs without against various teams and altogether. You can make a case for not selecting Quade based on non-statistical means, though whilst I would disagree with you, I will concede it is not at all unreasonable as we all know there is more to rugby than stats. However, I think it’s unfair to dismiss this article as having “no basis”.
      Personally I quite like the effort the boys on this site go to to compile huge amounts of stats into digestible formats. I find it an enjoyable way of finding out stuff I want to know, without having to do the work myself, in a readable format with usually a bit of humour and debate (and usually not too much petty name calling).

  • Younggun

    so he can give man hugs better than most, the only thing setting him apart is Salesi Maafu can’t do backflips.

  • first time long time

    Interesting to see those from up North (Lions camp) pushing the barrow that Cooper isn’t up to it. That is because they don’t want to play against him.

    Do you really think the kiwis targeted him so viciously at the RWC because of those trivial run-ins with Richie. It was because they new he was our only real threat and if he had been managed and supported well by those around him and I include a number of eminent ex wallabies who’s attitudes and comments were at best detrimental to our cause, I think things would have been a bit different.

    Set him loose! We all know some times he’ll give us stones but more often its diamonds.
    Lets face it he can win us the series and you can’t say that about many of the other options at 10.

    I wish all the talk about picking players to suit Deans’ game plan would stop! His game plans are at best shit or non existent.

    Fingers crossed for the squad on sunday.

    • the ardent b’stard

      The reason he was targetted in the RWC was because they knew he would break – and he did!, much of the pressure self inflicted.
      I have been real impressed by the more mature play of QC in the last half a dozen games, less razzle dazzle and more control, but he is always going to be a balance between brilliance and making that mistake that costs you a test, not sure first test against the Lions is the place to find out he doesnt have it.

      • Yin Yang

        Self inflicted pressure? Youve got to be kidding. The kiwi crowds gave him absolute hell for having a little niggle with Richie McCaw (praise lord richie eh?). A complete lack of sportsmanship and for a country that consistently criticizes others for not respecting their traditions (the fabled black jersey, the haka etc etc) they were absolutely disgusting.

        Place any 23 year old in his situation and they would have collapsed, i guarantee it. He clearly had no support from the ARU and have to give Ewen a ring for some advice.

        Secondly, everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has charged down kicks and knocks the ball on. Its just that Quades errors get highlighted.

        • Seaweed

          Agree, but while we’re at it (sportsmanship) can e.g. Tah’s fans stop booing the opposition when lining up a kick.

      • QC did not break at the RWC, the forwards did. And what did Deans do about a forward pack that could not hold a scrum? nothing. Deans sat on his pride, and Quade tried to do something – right to the end. Even a fat Weepu can look good behind a powerhouse pack. Sick of hearing about how Quade NOW has a better attitude. Celebrate the person who says what should be said, and sack a coach who does not stand behind his troops.

      • first time long time

        So lets pick the same old players that we already know don’t have it? With logic like that are you sure you’re not Robbie Deans?

  • World cups where the wallabies cracked under pressure: 0
    With cooper: 1

    He’s the best option this season, but the alternatives need to be blooded this year in TRC and on tour.

    • There have been 7 world cups and we’ve one 2 so there are 4 other world cups we didn’t win. So someone must have cracked under the pressure by your logic. Although I can’t remember a completely fucked game plan in any of the other world cups.

      • Klaus

        Sully, ’95 wasn’t our best game plan… But agree with you 100% anyone who has spoken with players from that World Cup were very frustrated with the so called ‘game plans’ or lack off.

    • Cracked under pressure? You were expecting him to win the RWC on his own with players picked out of form and out of position. Deans cracked.

      • Maybe so, but QC had a shocker.

        I’m just making the point that a single metric does not make for a good analysis, and certainly not for a selection method. Scott Allen does a good job theorizing about why the selections have been made in the squad cast. It remains to be seen if he’s right and if so whether Deans’ game plan works.

  • They’ve got to play him. Assuming we gain forward parity hes the key to our point of difference. If they choose barnes abd McCabe, that’s it for me. And see how they like that.

  • JeremyBC

    How many of those games recorded are actually analogous to “big game” “high pressure” tests like the Lions Tour? I’d suggest most of them aren’t really relevant when assessing the statistical case for Coppers selection FOR a lions Tour or RWC.

    It’s the stats from the RWC 2011 that deserve the most weight.

    • JeremyBC

      so really, it’s not a very strong case.

      And as has been noted by others below, a win/loss ratio is not a very useful analysis. Not useless, but shallow.

      • Is a Bledisloe up with a lions test? How about the Rugby Championship? What exactly counts as a direct comparison to Lions Test?

  • Andrew

    Nice stats Sully

British & Irish Lions

Just another Rugby tragic. Shane "Sully" Sullivan has been in man love with the game since high school in the 70's. He inflicts his passion on family and anyone who will listen. He can't guarantee unbiased opinion but he can tell you the Reds are Awesome! To read non-rugby content head to

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