Hooper backs Australian teams to bounce back
Cape Town - Australian Super Rugby teams can’t let themselves be defined by a disastrous weekend of defeats, says Wallabies and Waratahs captain Michael Hooper.
All four Australian franchises went down to foreign opposition in Round 10, with the Waratahs going scoreless for the first time in their Super Rugby history.
Hooper said, though, that the critical thing was ensuring that didn’t repeat in the rest of the season.
"One loss doesn't define your season, one loss doesn't mean you're a bad team," he told the Australia's Rugby.com.au website.
"The Rebels went (3-0) with bonus points in each one of those games, so they've got a lot to be confident about.
"Likewise with the other Australian teams. I think there's so much left in the season - six games, five for us before the Irish stuff. Everyone's in with a shout and competitive.
"In my position, building resilience is really important.
“One game doesn't mean you're a bad team, it just means you've got to learn from the missed opportunities."
Speaking specifically on the Waratahs, Hooper said a loss to the Lions showed a lack of maturity in the second half, especially, after dominating plenty of attacking statistics in the opening stanza.
"What probably the leaders, the game managers within that Waratahs group didn't do well was play to where the Lions weren't strong," he said.
"Where they are really strong is when they get in your 22, they score points.
"Then for whatever reason, because maybe we started to feel like we couldn't score points and were getting frustrated we started playing out of that area and sure enough they turned it over and just were able to wear us down with their maul and their scrum,” he said.
"Then once we got points put on (us), we're chasing them down, we tried to do those high pressure plays and that's unfortunately showed a bit of immaturity in our team and something we've got to improve at."
The Waratahs are still on top of the Australian conference despite the defeat, given the failings of the other Aussie sides on the weekend, and both they and the Rebels still sit in the finals race.
If that remains until the end of the season it would be the first time Australia has had two teams in the Super Rugby knockouts since 2015, with the Brumbies the only finalists in recent years.