Ashley-Cooper: It's my fault

2010-09-01 08:05

Greg Growden - RugbyHeaven 

Durban - Australia's most versatile rugby player, Adam Ashley-Cooper, proved he is the hardest of markers by blaming himself for the Wallabies' failure to end a 47-year drought on the South African highveld last Saturday.

The team and staff are still hurting after wasting a 21-7 lead against the Springboks, but none more than Ashley-Cooper, who believes if he had scored in the 58th minute it would have led to a historic victory.

With the line open, the Test outside-centre found himself at the end of a sweeping Wallabies attacking move with only the Springboks halfback Francois Hougaard to beat. Hougaard hit Ashley-Cooper in the midriff, dislodging the ball from his left arm and ending the threat.

If Ashley-Cooper had scored, the Wallabies would have regained the lead at 36-34, with a conversion attempt to follow. Instead, the Springboks regained possession through the knock-on, and went on to win the match 44-31.

While Ashley-Cooper's play was hampered by poor service from his inside backs - he was forced to take dangerous and often unnecessary cut-out passes - he did not help himself by ignoring the basics at crucial moments, such as when he was confronted by Hougaard.

''I can safely say that had a direct result on the match,'' Ashley-Cooper said on Tuesday. ''And it all comes down to doing the basics well, and I didn't do it at the time.

''It was probably the wrong side to hold the ball. It probably would have been a different result if I had carried it in my right hand. He [Hougaard] did very well to make that tackle, and it popped out of my hand. I was obviously very disappointed with that because I know that's a non-negotiable for me, and the other nine times out of 10, I would have kept that ball.''

The Wallabies are most irritated by the fact that, for the second time this season, they ruined the chance of destabilising a prominent opponent. Their inability to beat England a second time this season certainly saved the jobs of several members of the touring coaching staff.

High-level Australian Rugby officials were told by their England counterparts before the Sydney Test that head coach Martin Johnson was in line to lose his position if the Wallabies had followed their Perth success with a Sydney triumph.

Now the eccentric Springboks coach Peter de Villiers has succeeded in keeping at bay his many critics at home by at last achieving a Tri-Nations victory. As one notable South African media observer said before the Pretoria Test: ''If de Villiers suffers another loss today(Saturday), there's bound to be carnage next week.''

Then again, touring Wallabies sides have a knack of propping up ailing Springbok teams by falling apart on the highveld. Ashley-Cooper said the players were devastated by what occurred in the final hour of the Loftus Versfeld international. ''There was an opportunity to make history there, and to lose a game in that nature is obviously very upsetting for yourself, your team and your country,'' he said.

But he said Wallabies fans should not lose faith. ''I know we will bounce back and will come back harder in Bloemfontein. There is a good belief in this squad … We feel we're improving in areas each game.

''We [have played] the two best teams in the world over the last couple of weeks, and have come up short. But it is not as if we are losing to poor opposition. These guys are the best in the world, and we're competing with them. There's certainly a lot we can take out of this.''

Rugby Heaven

  • WP bo! - 2010-09-01 08:42

    Hougaardt was the worst of all the Boks, I dont know why he was named man of the match. Habana is regaining his form, it was clear on Saturday. The Boks need Dewaldt Duvenage and De Waal urgently.

  • Jeremy - 2010-09-01 08:45

    Don't be so hard on yourself Cooper. Lomu would not have been able to get past him.

  • Emile - 2010-09-01 08:50

    Nice to hear a honest huy for once, especially from Australa. Maybe John Smit, January, Habana and PDV can take a leaf out of his book and be honest with themselves for once. January is pathetic, John badly in need of a rest and Habana needs to urgently deflate his HUGE head. I think Habana is suffering from carrying such an enormous ego with him all day. PDV is PDV and no bother with him.

  • Fair call - 2010-09-01 08:54

    The boks were outclassed most of the game and would definitely have lost if not for this tackle. Well done to save the match by Hoegard.

  • jacques - 2010-09-01 09:03

    that was a brilliant tackle from hougie so dont be too tough on yoruself adam !

  • deon - 2010-09-01 09:10

    Australia is going nowhere with Deans. Fire him, and bring back experience such as Cross, Baxter, Dunning, Campbell and Waugh. It is easy for Deans to say that his players play like schoolboys, but he picks them, including No.10 Cooper. Ashley-Cooper is a clever No. 15, but is useless in mid-field.

  • Katvis - 2010-09-01 09:13

    @ WP Bo. Lol, i am a WP supporter and i don't think De Waal should even play for WP let alone the springboks.

  • @WP Bo! - 2010-09-01 09:22

    Gooi weg daai pappegaaislaai, of ten minste wag net dat die effek daarvan uitgewerk het voordat jy 'n post plaas.

  • Tarras Bulba - 2010-09-01 09:22

    Sometimes one comes off as being a toss, like Ashley-Cooper ... "He didn't beat me; I just lost!" isn't really a noble thing to say. @Fair call .. I think the score would suggest otherwise . . . rugby works on points achieved, not efforts for trying. I agree that De Waal needs an opportunity. . erm . . .Habana isn't off form, his play is just being properly read. The problem with WP in general, is the "God given gift" attitude the players have . . e.g. way back when, "Werner Greef". Hougaard wasn't bad, just a little inexperienced. I gotta say, not having Fourie du Preez in the team makes a helluva difference. And no, I'm not a Bulls fan . . in case you're wondering if I'm biased.

  • Wallaby - 2010-09-01 09:27

    It takes courage AAC to say this of yourself but it's not entirely your fault. Self criticism is often the hallmark of a great if not brilliant player and I can sense a 'hunger' in the Wallabies I haven't sensed in a while and that spells trouble for any opponent. You'll get your try next time, AAC, don't worry (next time, as in Saturday). Besides, I'll be slightly worried if I were the Greens. They have to rely on the 'environment' these days to help them (i.e. altitude). Because nothing else will help them! When the environmental playing field was equal earlier this year, what happened? All the Wallabies have to do this Saturday is to draw a line in the sand and say: "Enough is enough. Altitude or no altitude, let's win this!" Go Wallabies!

  • @Wp bo - 2010-09-01 09:30

    What game were you watching on Saturday? Clearly not the game where Habana was clearly out of his depth. Hougaardt was a key figure in three of the tries. Please keep your comments to hockey or cricket!

  • Idiots - 2010-09-01 09:32

    @WP bo, your comment is so idiotic that it is obviously meant to incite. Please don't insult our intelligence. @Emile, John Smit was also honest in admitting that his error cost the match last week. However, you are probably right if you are questioning his honesty regarding his current form. @Fair call, you are making a big assumption by saying that. I think the Boks would have pulled this one through even if AAC had scored. You don't win by 13 points just because of one good tackle.

  • Bull-Terrier - 2010-09-01 09:36

    @ wp onder, ag sorry bo? - watch out that you don't slip on all the drivel that you talk, you could see your, sorry back side.

  • Wp supporter - 2010-09-01 09:37

    lol you want de waal in the boks team , are you mad , Dewaldt on the other hand better option than ricki , well done hougaardt hectic tackle even though I hate bulls but I do support the boks

  • Alfred @WP bo! - 2010-09-01 09:40

    "WP bo!" do u honestly believe the nonsense you write. I am a wp fan , but dewaal is seriously over the hill - I rate him the same as old Cabous van der Westerhuizen ( remember him ? ) , great player when he played for the sharks , terrible for the boks ....... So dude really , think before you speak - Hougaardt was Amazing , and he will get even better in future

  • Vaaljapie - 2010-09-01 09:44

    @ WP bo! Did you watch the same match??? or did you flick between the channels as rugby clearly is not your strong point. You missed all the brilliant moves from Houghardt. He deserves that award. I am a WP supporter myself, but if a player have a good game, regardless from what province or country, give him that. Now please sit stil on saturday and watch the whole game before you make useless comments. ou grote!! Habana is trying to hard and no, he is not regaining his form.

  • Megabull - 2010-09-01 09:45

    @ weerprobeer"onder" just like the S14?

  • marsmen@WP bo! - 2010-09-01 09:48

    Seriously WP bo. were you watching a different game? Hougaard was slick on attack and showed everyone in the bok side how to tackle players back (instead of trying to push them back.) Based on Duvenage and De Waal's performance the last 2 weeks I would rather have Earl Rose and Januarie as my half back pairing.

  • Piet Verdriet - 2010-09-01 09:50

    Hello aan al die Strontpraters (Sien WP). Julle ouens wat hier so slim is - ek wonder net of enige een van julle al OOIT 'n span afgerig het of op enige hoer vlak as dorpspan rugby gespeel het. Ek dink nie so nie. Verder dink ek julle behoort julle te skaam vir julle taal gebruik - geen ouer kan trots wees op sy kind wat sulke taal gebruik nie en as jy self 'n ouer is wonder ek wat se voorbeeld stel jy vir jou kind(ers). Sies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • @WP bo! - 2010-09-01 09:52

    Wat rook jy..."Hougaardt was the worst of all the Boks, I dont know why he was named man of the match. Habana is regaining his form, it was clear on Saturday"...the only thing thats clear is that your're an anti-bull supporter and clearly blinded on Habana's form because he is playing for WP now...Hougaardt created two of our tries with some brilliant moves, Habanna "leaked" two tries because of some mediocre moves...clearly you were wathing a different game...

  • Drew - 2010-09-01 09:53

    Hougaardt was the worst? Dude watch the game again you idiot

  • Realist - 2010-09-01 09:53

    WP bo! Are you on drugs or medication??? I am a staunch WP supporter but you have definitely lost the plot!!! Hougaard deserved to be named man of the match. Habana was his useless self as usual. Duvennage is good and should be a future option. De Waal is useless, cannot play an attacking game and is past his sell-by date.

  • Killer Bean - 2010-09-01 09:54

    !d! cannot argue that way, because if it wasn't for Habbana's awesome skill on catching a ball your try would have counted for nothing, or even Hougard's spectacular kick, or Mitchell's poor attempt of a tackle on Juan Smith...You are just trying to get some attention, very sad...if anyone should feel bad it has to be Habbana for the two tries he conceded

  • @ WP bo - 2010-09-01 09:58

    LMAO, lay off the spliff bru, I will say that January had is best game of the season.He made a very positive impact for a change, the bench has never been warmer, more of the same next test pls!!!!

  • Kobus Pretorius - 2010-09-01 10:01

    @ WP bo - I don't know how you got to that conclusion seeing as Hougards tackle SAVED a try and Habana's Knock gave one away! It was one of the worst games I saw Habana play this whole year. He really hasn't been playing well since last year, round about the time he signed for WP!

  • Amazed @ WP bo!!! - 2010-09-01 10:03

    WP bo, please help me out here, you just posted this message to p#ss off people, please tell me so - Hougaardt was brilliant on Saturday, he was everywhere and was defo worth being the recipient of man of the match award. What game did you watch - honestly you dont know what you are talking about. Habana had a shocker,he was clearly rattled - again, what do you base your comment on?

  • Al - 2010-09-01 10:07

    @WP bo! Habana went to the Cape because he is finished with big rugby, and it shows. De Waal is a good provincial player and that is where he belongs. And about Hougaardt's poor game, you're right. Just watch him when he plays really well. And try to get a position more or less right in front of the TV.

  • attie - 2010-09-01 10:21

    wp bo.jou ma man jy rook ook haar weermag bruin bra's en vil panties.word wakker

  • Mike@CapeT - 2010-09-01 10:30

    Ashley-Cooper shouldn't be too hard on himself....Habana blames himself for two of the Wallabies tries! So, in fact, they should not have been as close as they were, in the first place!

  • Richard Nixon@Wallaby - 2010-09-01 10:35

    Really enviroment? you're blaming the enviroment, maybe it was global warming. You don't think playing 3 weeks on the road, 2 against the All Blacks before the Wannabees had anything to do with it? you guys blew a 14 point head start! how much more do you guys need in your favour to win?

  • Vaalseun - 2010-09-01 10:39

    Some so-called rugby fans in these comments have shown a marked ignorance of the game. We have to do here with mere s@@t-stirrers who enjoy the responses they get to their [probably purposefully] uninformed drivel.

  • @Wp bo - 2010-09-01 10:46

    These guys that comment are so easily caught. Well Done

  • @WP Bo! - 2010-09-01 11:02

    Just shut up. I am a WP supporter and you are embarrassing all of us. Duvenhage is not that good. If you watched his decision making you would agree (good example is the super 14 final). I would rather start Ricky than him. He never imposes himself on the game. I think you are just trying to stir. I don't understand why some WP supporters can be so stupid. When WP beat Griquas there was some guy going on about how WP will smash any team by +30 points. Stop counting your chickens before they hatch because if it doesn't happen you make us all look like idiots. We need to respect each other teams and also support the BOKS. Don't get all arrogant because you don't like a different province/team you don't want to support the BOKS.

  • DGR - 2010-09-01 11:29

    Guthro was my man of the match. As good as Hougard was, his decision making and kicking was poor. It will take some player to match Fourie du Preez.

  • @WP Bo - 2010-09-01 12:31

    WP-bo jy maak alle WP & Stormer supporters se naam GAT. Ek dink dat hierdie blogs moet 'n bietjie ge-censor word om mense soos jy en andere, veral die skape van anderkant Du Toitskloof, te kontroleer. Gelukkig is daar darem nog beskaafde mense met maniere in die Kaap.

  • girlcricketlover - 2010-09-01 13:37

    @ WP bo! I am a HUGE WP supporter but u are an idiot. Hougaardt was the best player on the field on Saturday. Dewaldt Duvenhage is good but not better than him, so we should stick with him. If you going to just make WP supporters look like idiots, rather say nothing.

  • Justice - 2010-09-01 14:49

    Did anything happen about the 2 tip-tackles made on the bokke? Weren't JDV and JF sighted and banned for the same thing?

  • Nick - 2010-09-01 17:26

    @WPbo - is your uncle PDV

  • Jacko - 2010-09-01 19:22

    Hougaardt is the player we've all been waiting for as a back-up to Fourie du Preez. As for Habana, I would rest him and bring in Bjorn Basson in the 11 jersey. Some of the RWC team and back-ups must rest during the EOY tour to the Northern Hemisphere even if we lose a couple of games. I would have Andries Bekker of WP and Flip v.d. Merwe as run ons in the 5 & 4 sweaters, with Hargreaves and Sykes on the bench. My loosies wouold be Heinrich Brussouw, Kankowski and Lowe, if Juan Smith and Pierre Spies are going to rest as well.

  • wp supporter - 2010-09-02 02:14

    @WP bo! Bra wat rook jy.Habana was terrible, Hougaard was deurie gevaarlik. Hou op tik voorie game.

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