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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Cian Healy's hit on Quade Cooper in Auckland

Eden Park on Saturday was the scene of the biggest shake up of this year's World Cup as Ireland famously beat Australia 15-6, elevating them into group winner hopefuls, and affecting other teams as a result. Prop Cian Healy was immense on the night, so here's another look at a moment that many of you wanted to watch over again.

Healy picked up the Man of the Match award for his contribution around the park, and particularly, in the scrum. He dominated Wallaby Ben Alexander to the point of the Australian prop having since said it was the worst night of his sporting life. Healy on the other hand, was delighted.

"It felt good to dominate the Australia scrum. It's always nice to get on the front foot and load the pressure on. I'm pretty happy about that. I'm really chuffed to have been named man of the match. I didn't expect that. We'd been working hard at scrummaging and we knew it was coming.

"I wanted us to be dominant there because I know how hard it is for backs to play if they don't have that platform to work off. We'd done a fair bit of research into their scrum and everything had gone according to plan. It was enjoyable. It was a good pack performance. We clicked well," he said.

The Wallaby halfback pairing of Will Genia and Quade Cooper failed to spark their talented backs. Cooper, considered by some to be the most talented flyhalf in world rugby, has come under fire from former world cup winner David Campese, who says that the Reds star doesnt seem to understand the position.

"Quade Cooper, I don't know. I don't know what he's doing - every time he got (the ball) the crowd booed him. These flick passes, they work for Sonny Bill Williams, but it doesn't work for certain people," he said.

"Under pressure, you want people in positions that can control the game and be smart about it. These guys weren't smart at all. People have got to realise that I was a winger, so I was the last man on the line to try things. He's a playmaker so he's getting the ball all the time.

"I don't think he understands the position sometimes, he thinks he can do a lot of things and he's got to realise a number 10 normally is the big go-to man. When you're under pressure you get the ball and kick it down touch like Dan Carter does. On the weekend I was watching and Cooper got the ball and just wanted to try everything himself.

"You can't win a World Cup if you play like individuals, you've got to play as a team. Unfortunately the Wallabies on Saturday didn't look like a team," Campese said.

As if the night wasn't bad enough for the Wallabies and Cooper, Cian Healy smashed him.

 

Posted at 7:12 pm | 32 comments

Quade Cooper's great try & celebration vs the Waratahs

Quade Cooper's audacious stepping and crosskick

Quade Cooper's outrageous sidestep on Cory Jane

Tomas O'Leary's controversial tackle on Cian Healy

Posted in Big Hits & Dirty Play, Rugby World Cup 2011

Viewing 32 comments

medicaluke September 20, 2011 9:19 pm

I agree with Campese. Cooper does look like he tries to do everything on his own. His reverse passes were total failures. Against a team with more confidence, I think Bowe's interception would have led to a try. Fantastic cover work from O'Connor though.
Ireland truly deserved their victory. The forwards were fantastic, and Healy's hit on Cooper is just one of the many things the forwards did that set up the win.
Its not often I praise Ireland (being a pom), but they were great in defense and took the points when they were offered.

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Full Back September 20, 2011 9:22 pm

got to love the commentary!

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WelshOsprey September 20, 2011 9:27 pm

Quade cooper was hilarious against ireland

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LND September 20, 2011 9:28 pm

Even more impressive was the way Healy came to be in that position to tackle him. Look when the ball comes back off the post and is gathered by the wallabies - Healy, POC and Ross and the first line of defense, POC and Healy track across towards Cooper and Genia. Healy never takes his eyes off Cooper and then smashes him - the prop tracking the all singing, all dancing, big stepping, fancy number 10 and absolutely knocking him on his arse! Healy is then on his feet immediately to help tap the chipped ball back towards best. I really hope Irelands backs can put something coherent together to match the level of effort, skill and concentration shown by Healy & POC here (not saying the backs aren't trying, it's just not happening for them)

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Frenchie September 20, 2011 10:19 pm

Agreed with LND: amazing defense from Healy, great run and great position ready to tackle inside and outside him it seems...
Heard the guy is only 23???

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i love bacon September 20, 2011 10:39 pm

Healy should've been awarded man of the match based on the fact that he didn't lose a contact lens at all that night...for once!

Great tackle. Even watching the replay, it still makes me smile.

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Darren September 20, 2011 11:03 pm

Yes, he's only 23..!

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flyingpepper September 20, 2011 11:41 pm

Love the idea that Cooper was probably thinking "oh look its a front row in front of me, time for a bit of fancy foot work, a little skip, maybe a stupid one handed, reverse pass (you aren't Sonny Bill Williams)... this will be easy"

Then Healy did what we all want to see done to Cooper even Australian fans at time. Cooper is a great player, but never has a phrase been more fitting, "there is a time and a place". When it works it looks great, but other teams can score without all that fancy rubbish, when it doesn't it looks stupid and put his team under pressure.

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Will.F September 20, 2011 11:54 pm

Cooper's a good player but he's a hot shot, and everyone loves seeing a hot shot get tagged like that (especially since he wasn't injured). Thank you, Mr. Healy : ).

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GIFTEDNBROWN September 21, 2011 12:15 am

it seems the irish took their lesson on 'effective tackling' from todd clever in the USA game and put it to good use haha... also on a side note: it's always good to see a prop get man of the match! good work mr. healy!

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Pipo September 21, 2011 12:45 am

Cooper is good, but not as reliable as Giteau, whats wrong with deans seriously? why isnt Giteau in the team???

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donkeyballs4000 September 21, 2011 11:55 am

You can guarantee that Giteau would have made an appearance in that game if Deans had brought him. Cooper, in my opinion, is one of the main reasons the aussies lost that match. Giteau would have been able to get his forwards on the front foot at least.

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Harriieee September 21, 2011 1:02 am

Sometimes I do wonder if Cooper isn't better suited to either 13 or 15 for the Wallabies. What he can do for QL just doesn't have the same impact in international rugby and 10's such a vital position. At 13 or 15 he'd have space to run and scope to offload and use his pretty exceptional ball handling, while JOC would make a more conventional and trustworthy 10, where he's played before.

Oh, and @Pipo - if you've watched any Super Rugby this year, you'll know very well why Giteau isn't in the squad.

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mendorugger September 21, 2011 6:32 am

Wallabies are a top shelf outfit, no denying that, the Irish just brought their "A" game. Coopers had that coming for a long time. Commentator chimes in about envious players who would love to be in Cian position. Why no ones givin Cooper a proper bashing by now is beyond me. Great hit, proof that you can still clean a mans clock using all the proper tackling techniques. Lined him up, and laid him to bed.

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Colombes September 21, 2011 8:56 am

Nice hit
Pity that Cooper just played for himself
and that reverse pass in his 22...
you can't improvise yourself as a Blanco or a Campese. these superstars did some mistakes (vs lions 1989) but they knew their basics.
back to work: the efficient one

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touch pause engage September 21, 2011 11:42 am

wasn't too bothered when QC had ball in hand, he never really looked dangerous, but Kurtley Beale......don't want to play against him again in a hurry

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Gaspar September 21, 2011 1:02 pm

I think Quade Cooper si more an improvisation player that a good decision taker man.
He has a full pocket of resources, but is always making something "extra".
Sometimes the 10 must be just "right", not "Wow".
Take a look to Dan Carter. His magic only appears two or three times in the entire match. The rest of the time he is just doing the "right thing" (in the best way also).
It is like "Neil Amstrong" on Apollo 11, "Cold Brain, Hot Hart".

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Gaspar September 21, 2011 1:03 pm

(sorry "Cold Brain, Hot Heart")

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eglionel September 21, 2011 3:05 pm

Pff Quade Cooper don't like tackle, he don't like contact. He is not a rugby player, just a runner.

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medicaluke September 21, 2011 3:22 pm

I still find it crazy that on defensive lines QC is put at full back or elsewhere. He seems to be a huge vulnerability in defense and could prove to be Australia's down fall at this world cup.

Much of what has been added also just emphasizes that QC's flair has a time and a place. He also needs to start thinking about the fourteen other men on the pitch wearing and aussie shirt. He disappointed me completely, especially after watching him in the Super 15 run in and what not. Just doesn't seem to have the composure that a world class 10 has to have (Jonny Wilkinson and Dan Carter). The more I watch him, the more I feel he has too much flair for his backs to know what's going to happen next.

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Juggernauter September 21, 2011 3:09 pm

Awesome hit by Healy, he's truly a quality player and a future Lion.

I've been dissaponted with Cooper so far in this WC. He's a terrific player but it's tre that most times he's over confident ans tries to pull the unthinkable in the worst moments. This is not a Super Rugby game against weak opposition and with no relegation, this is a bloodt World Cup! It's knock out rugby form end to end! Sometimes you just have to be cool and you've got to be able to make the right choice, very much like Canada has done in their past two matches, do your homework before letting out the fireworks.

Regardinf the Aussie team, I think it's time to shuffle the back line. Pat McCabe and Faingaa are superb defensive centres andboth straight, no nonsense runners, butthey're lacking pepper in attack big time. Berrick Barnes and Rob Horneare both fully fit again and should definitely be given a go for the game against the USA. Both are big tacklersand awesome runners and distributors, I thinkthey would change the aussie's attack.

Cheers

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Malcolm Bradbrook September 21, 2011 5:03 pm

I had doubts about him when Aus played England last Autumn. In Ashton's length-of-the-field try you can clearly see Cooper pull up to leave Ashton to Drew Mitchell. Had he carried on chasing he would surely have got a tap in at the very least.

I am used to seeing fly-halves duck out of a bit of biff but they don't usually mind the photo-friendly last ditch tap tackle!

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Andrew September 21, 2011 7:21 pm

Ireland has come along way. They have a divided nation, a small pool of players to utilize and yet they on a good day could win agianst any one. Maybe for the first time agianst NZ. That would be like when David took out Goliath.
It would be a game of pure faith.

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The Claw September 21, 2011 7:32 pm

Finally! Some unofficial youtube World Cup action on rugbydump! Keep 'em coming please!

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mise September 21, 2011 11:13 pm

its taken Healy a while at this level, to be fair! (and yes I know he's young, but he's been playing for Leinster for a while now and was a bit of a scrum liability til, well, this match)

SH folk: has QC played at full back much?

Perfect hit btw.

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RedYeti September 22, 2011 10:33 pm

Didn't Manu get penalised for a tackle a lot like that against Georgia? ;)

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AdamK September 22, 2011 10:49 pm

@mise Healy's been on form since last year atleast, remember the HEC game against Clermont?

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mise September 24, 2011 9:41 pm

He's been reasonable for Leinster but at the slightly higher level he's struggled (in the scrum). And having Ross there beside him helps (for both).

Glad to see him peak at RWC time thou!

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