Planet Rugby

Mowen hails Cooper's impact

02nd December 2013 05:22


ben mowen quade cooper australia

Side by side: Cooper & Mowen

Australia captain Ben Mowen praised the influence of Quade Cooper in the Wallabies' 30-26 win over Wales in Cardiff.

Cooper was electric in a Man of the Match performance that saw the fly-half display his full range of handling and footwork skills, as Australia picked up a ninth consecutive win over Warren Gatland's side.

The win was the Wallabies' sixth in 12 matches since new head coach Ewen McKenzie took over as head coach this year.

"I thought Quade was outstanding in his 50th game, but in saying that the guys either side of him really helped," said Mowen.

"That nine-ten-12 channel really directed the way we wanted, but there were also a couple of moments of individual skill.

"Not many people can execute that in touch-footy in the back-yard, let alone at the Millennium Stadium in those sort of circumstances.

"You can't say enough about what sort of bloke Quade is and what contribution he's made.

"He has turned into an outstanding leader, and when he is performing, generally the team is performing very well. That shows a lot about the respect he carries in the group."

Looking back on the year, Mowen believes that the resilience shown by the Wallabies in the closing stages in the Millennium Stadium will stand them in good stead for the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Australia have been drawn with Wales and England in Pool A.

"We played so well in attack at periods in that game, but a side like the Welsh are always going to come back and have points in them," added Mowen.

"But I thought the resilience we had in the game, and to close that game out was outstanding. It just says a lot about the resilience of the group.

"We've obviously had a lot of ups and downs this year, but from where we were to where we are has been a really important step.

"Upon reflection, there will be happiness in the way we are going. We firmly believe we can get to the point we need to be come the (2015) World Cup."

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