Planet Rugby



Hooper backs Super Rugby form

07th April 2014 10:37


Waratahs flanker Michael Hooper on a run

In-form: Michael Hooper

Wallabies flanker Michael Hooper believes Australia must transfer Super Rugby form to the Test stage come the Bledisloe Cup.

The five Australian franchises have impressed in the opening Rounds of the tournament, with Hooper's Waratahs an early candidate for the title alongside the Brumbies, while the Western Force notched an unprecedented fourth consecutive win this weekend to sit fifth in the table.

And the tenacious openside is desperate for provincial form to carry through to international rugby as the Wallabies take on the All Blacks for the Bledisloe Cup later this year, with The Rugby Championship kicking off in almost exactly four months.

"The difference is last year every Australian team did better than the year before," Hooper told Fairfax Media.

"It's too early to talk about how this season will pan out but the players are there, the depth is there, it is just getting that mentality, that winning edge, back.

"The All Blacks have that mentality that they can beat us every week. It's about changing that.

"It will take one win, then you can change the mentality around winning against these teams that previously we've lost to x number of times."

Hooper was one of a number of impressive performers as the Waratahs consigned the Stormers to a 22-11 defeat, leaving the Cape Town outfit stranded at the bottom of the table despite boasting several big-name Springboks.

"We got some ascendancy in the scrum and lineout which was really nice and, for our tight five, a reward that's been a long time in the making," added Hooper.

"We'd been focusing on one part of the game and the other parts were slipping. Last week our defence was good but our attack went missing.

"This time it was not such a focus on one thing but a general broad thing. We had to put the pieces together ... It was good for us to get in a more rounded game."

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