Australia captain hails Cooper

Date published: November 18 2013

Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen praised the influence of mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper after the 32-15 win over Ireland in Dublin.

Wallabies skipper Ben Mowen praised the influence of mercurial fly-half Quade Cooper after the 32-15 win over Ireland in Dublin.

Reds number ten Cooper scored 17 points in the convincing victory at the Aviva Stadium, including a special solo try in the second half.

Gradually working his way back into the fold under new boss Ewen McKenzie, Cooper's performances in Test rugby have steadily improved throughout 2013, with Mowen reserving special praise for his fly-half.

“I thought Quade was outstanding tonight,” said Mowen.

“He set guys up for tries and he also took his brilliantly with a superb eye for the gap.”

Reflecting on the win overall, Mowen believed the four-try success was the Wallabies best performance so far under McKenzie.

“This was our most complete performance yet,” added Mowen.

“We were well-balanced in both attack and defence and it was our strength in the breakdown where we knew the Irish would be strong that laid the foundations for our tries.

“The spirit was right throughout the match. When you have three Wallabies fighting to win the same ball that shows the spirit and determination we have.

“It's what we have been working for. We were working really hard but the results didn't go for us but we stuck at it and then suddenly you pop out the other side and the results do go for you and that is really pleasing.

“We need to add to this next week against the Scots.”

McKenzie was delighted to see Australia's good preparation bear fruit, in what was only Australia's fourth win in 2013 but also their most impressive showing.

The Wallabies next face Scotland at Murrayfield before concluding a long year in the Millennium Stadium against Wales.

“We did our homework and and we got a pretty good outcome,” said McKenzie.

“It was a pretty good performance. When we came here lots of people didn't give us much of a chance. However, we have scored four tries to zero which is excellent in what is I think our best win over them since 1999.

“I thought we were moving forward when we were losing [matches].

“There had been lots of changes and lots of work on and off the pitch and it takes time for those to come to fruition and to blend in.

“We've won two in a row now it is for us to extend it to three in a row.

“I think it is already snowing in Scotland which will be different for us and is unfortunate as we have been quite lucky so far in playing in dry conditions.

“We haven't had a great record of late against the Scots but it is always good to have challenges as that sets you a target and we have shown in the last two matches we are able to meet them.”