Aussie ace Cooper gets two-week ban for dangerous tackle

IN-FORM Australia fly-half Quade Cooper has been suspended for two weeks after being cited for a dangerous tackle during Australia’s Tri Nations Test 30-13 win against South Africa.

In a massive blow for the Wallabies, Cooper will miss Australia’s back-to-back Bledisloe Cup Tests against New Zealand in Melbourne next Saturday and in Christchurch the following week. The Wallabies are expected to appeal.

He was cited over an incident in the 54th minute of the match. He appeared before SANZAR’s Bruce Squire of New Zealand in Brisbane yesterday. Squire found Cooper guilty of a breach of Law 10.4 (j).

The suspension ends on August 8.

Squire will also hear a dangerous tackle charge against Springboks centre Jaque Fourie who was also cited after Saturday’s Test in Brisbane.

Will Genia’s late try enabled Australia to condemn South Africa to a third successive Tri-Nations defeat at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane.

Both sides scored two tries but accurate kicking from Matt Giteau and James O’Connor saw the Wallabies home. The deficit could have been far greater had the Australians not wasted a succession of chances with some poor finishing.

Scrum-half Genia, skipper Rocky Elsom and David Pocock shone for the Wallabies while the Springboks were handicapped by sin-binnings for Jaque Fourie and BJ Botha.

The South Africans were rocked by ill-discipline and for the third week in a row they spent time defending without their full complement of men, much to the chagrin of skipper John Smit, who placed responsibility for the loss squarely on the shoulders of the playing group.

The Springboks were handicapped by sin-binnings for Jaque Fourie and BJ Botha.

Fourie was sin-binned in the in the second minute of the match by Irish referee George Clancy for a spear tackle on Richie Brown.

“I think we just have to be honest with ourselves,” said Smit.

“It’s hard when you’re asked about the type of game we have to play and it’s hard to answer because we haven’t played our game yet.

“We’ve got ourselves to blame for all three weeks, so we’re not on the money really. It wasn’t an ideal situation (losing Fourie). I just couldn’t believe it happened again for the third week in a row; it can’t keep happening surely. It’s hard to play with 14 men at this level.’’

The hope for the South African side remains that their dominance on home soil, and an extended break, will see them ready to repel the Aussies and Kiwis in a few weeks.

AUSTRALIA: Ashley-Cooper, O’Connor, Horne, Giteau, Mitchell, Cooper, Genia, Robinson, Faingaa, Ma’afu, Mumm, Sharpe, Elsom, Pocock, Brown.

Replacements: Moore (for Faingaa, 55), Slipper (for Robinson, 58), Simmons, McCalman, Burgess, Barnes (for Giteau, 72), Beale

Sin-bin: Cooper (54)

SOUTH AFRICA: Kirchner, Aplon, Fourie, Olivier, Habana, Steyn, Pienaar; Steenkamp, Smit (captain), Botha, Rossouw, Matfield, Burger, Kankowski, Spies.

Replacements: Ralepelle (for Smit, 73), Van der Linde, Van der Merwe, Potgieter, Hougaard (for Pienaar, 73), James (for Steyn, 54), De Jongh (for Olivier, 54).

Sin-bin: Fourie (3), BJ Botha (46)


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