Wallabies starting to click: Hooper

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

The Wallabies are starting to turn a corner after snapping a six Test losing streak on Saturday night, flanker Michael Hooper says.

Hooper answered some of his own critics in a man-of-the-match performance on Saturday night in Australia’s 23-17 win over South Africa and said it felt like

Their worst run in a decade put the heat on the Wallabies players and Hooper said it hadn’t been easy, but he felt the Springboks victory could be a turning point.

Michael Hooper didn't shy away from the battle. Photo: ARU Media/Stu Walmsley“We’ve definitely built some resilience [through that time],” he said.

“We decided to play a different way this year we’ve had to build on what we wanted to get across in those first few games.

“It’s hard to get across a new game plan, new D, new attack against currently the best team in the world.

“So, we definitely showed last night - we had a few games under our belt and against a different team, we still managed to put some stuff out there and really nice.

“What was pleasing to see were combinations starting to step up last night, get a good run.

“Quadey (Cooper) looked sharp, Willy (Genia), that 9-10 combination’s looking nice and the second rowers are starting to get some really good touches together.”

Will Genia was influential in Brisbane. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyAt the very least, Hooper will be looking forward to Monday for the first time in a while.

“You need a win, it’s just nice,” he said.

“You can go into a Monday morning review not feeling a loss and you’re sore but everything’s going to be worth it this time.

“You’re not sore and feeling sorry for yourself.”

The Wallabies’ focus has turned quickly to the Pumas, who pushed the All Blacks for close to 60 minutes in Hamilton on Saturday night.

Michael Hooper was man of the match. Photo: ARU Media/Stu WalmsleyArgentina’s rise since the start of the Rugby Championship has been impossible to ignore, adding dangerous offloading to an arsenal of set piece skills.

Hooper said the crucial thing for the Wallabies would be starting well, after giving up a 14-3 lead against South Africa.

“They came out of the blocks hard last night and we’ve started slow in all our games this year so certainly something we need to rectify come next week,” he said.

“They’re good around the field, their offload play’s brilliant and they’re just a different outfit.

"We don't play them too much - we play the Kiwis, the South Africans a lot so it’s a different style.

“It’s something we’re getting more used to but not something we’re fully across yet.”