Quade Cooper is a better tackler than Richie McCaw
October 16, 2013, 11:10:06
Straight out of rugby's believe it or not files come suggestions that Quade Cooper is a better tackler than Richie McCaw.
That's the spin Australian media are putting on recent statistics ahead of Saturday night's Bledisloe Cup clash in Dunedin. (more like putting a target on Cooper's back )
It sounds like a Tui advertisement but it seems the Wallabies are buying into it.
Numbers produced by FoxSports (Coopers cheerleaders led by head Cheerleader Phil Kearns ), the Australian broadcaster of the Rugby Championship, reveal that Cooper's tackling during the tournament had an 84.4 per cent success rate, better than McCaw's 82.3 per cent.
Statistics can be twisted to suit any means but Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie is using them to instill confidence into Cooper who has a history of struggling against the All Blacks.
Long regarded as a turnstile tackler, even to the extent that the Wallabies often shift him to fullback when they don't have the ball to avoid having him in the vulnerable 10 channel close to scrums, lineouts, rucks and mauls, McKenzie said Cooper's recent improvements had lifted his overall success rate in the test arena to 78 per cent. (everytime he tackles anything, Fox Commentary Team of Marty and Co do Mexican wave after Mexican wave)
"Quade's tackling at 78 per cent now and everyone talks about that (his perceived poor defence) but that's just the reality of it," McKenzie said. (u tell them Link )
"He's tackling at 78 per cent, which is a lot better than a lot of other players in both teams. (did he just compare both Teams???? )
"If he's in the team Quade will do what we ask him to do." (how about taking the ball to the line Quade?)
To register on the tackling statistics from the Rugby Championship, players needed to make at least 30 tackles.
Cooper made 38 tackles and he was also attributed with four ineffective tackles and three missed tackles. His 84.4 per cent success rate placed him fourth on the Wallabies list headed by Robb Simmons (91.8 per cent from 48 tackles). He would have finished sixth in the All Blacks ranks on a list headed by Sam Whitelock (94.3 per cent from 70 tackles). ???????????????
McCaw ranked seventh amongst the All Blacks with 51 tackles, 10 ineffective tackles and one missed tackle.
But McCaw, as an openside flanker, operates in a key defensive zone. He doesn't shirk anything that comes his way.
Cooper didn't start either of the Bledisloe Cup test losses that were part of the Rugby Championship with rookie Matt Toomua handed the No 10 jerseys in Sydney and Wellington.
Cooper is expected to get the nod for the dead rubber under the roof in Dunedin, something that won't worry the All Blacks given his chequered record against New Zealand.
They'll also enjoy running at him should he stand his ground at first-five.
The Wallabies are coming off their best effort of the new era under McKenzie, a record 54-17 thumping of Argentina in Rosario.
And while the All Blacks have been lauded for their come-from-behind 38-27 win over South Africa in Johannesburg on the same weekend, the Wallabies believe the Springboks exposed New Zealand frailties early on which they hope to exploit.