/ Rugby

Cooper has no regrets after 'tough night'

Updated: Sunday, 16 Oct 2011 19:36

Quade Cooper - "I will never walk off the field with any regrets. I hold my head high and know that I've given it my all."
Quade Cooper - "I will never walk off the field with any regrets. I hold my head high and know that I've given it my all."

Wallabies flyhalf Quade Cooper saved his worst for last but had no regrets about a mediocre World Cup campaign which ended with a crushing defeat at the hands of the All Blacks on Sunday.

The strikingly talented New Zealand-born Cooper was dubbed "public enemy number one" by a hostile local media the moment he stepped off the aeroplane -- and booed every time he touched the ball throughout the tournament.

Sunday's 20-6 semi-final loss to the All Blacks at Eden Park was the nadir, beginning from when he launched the kickoff straight into touch and ending 80 minutes later when he was wrestled out of bounds and littered with errors in between.

"I'm in a very privileged position to be standing out there on that field and playing in front of a massive crowd, it's been my lifelong dream," the 23-year-old told reporters after the defeat.

"I will never walk off the field with any regrets. I hold my head high and know that I've given it my all.

"Everybody will have their opinions and I'm not going to try and change any perceptions," he added. "I am who I am, and I play the way I play, and if you like it or not, that's me."

Cooper conceded that New Zealand, who he had helped defeat in two of the last three meetings between the trans-Tasman rivals, had been the better team on the night.

"It was a very tough night and it just showed the intensity and accuracy that they brought to the game," he said.

"Right across the board they were making it a personal contest between each player and at the end of the day they came out on top."

Cooper said he was not going to "have a cry" about the way he had been received in the land of his birth and said it had been a rich learning experience.

“Everyone getting at me personally, I'm definitely going to be better for it," he said.

"The way everyone came at me from all angles, whether it be media, the crowd, trying to make a big buzz out of it. I got used to it and I think I'll take a lot of confidence from that.

"So when we play them again, whether it be in a Bledisloe or Super Rugby over here or another World Cup if I'm lucky enough to get that chance, I'm sure I'll be better for it."

Cooper is committed to the Wallabies for just one more year and has often been discussed as a target for Australian rugby league clubs, possibly on a double deal with All Black Sonny Bill Williams.

Non-commital about his own future, Cooper said he thought many of his young team mates would be back in England in 2015.

"Obviously everyone's pretty down from losing a semi-final at the World Cup, for a lot of the boys it was their first World Cup but I'm sure it won't be their last," he said.

"The future's the future, I'm not looking too far ahead," he added.

"This is a very young team and I'm sure there'll be a lot of faces here who will be keen to come back and right some wrongs.

"Hopefully we can keep the group together but at the same time, boys will move on and boys have careers ahead of them whether it be here, or in another country or wherever."