Rugby World Cup 2019: Australia gave away too many points in first half, says Hooper

By Sports Desk September 29, 2019

Australia captain Michael Hooper conceded the Wallabies left themselves with too much to do against Wales after a poor first half on Sunday.

In what will surely be the key fixture in Pool D at the Rugby World Cup, Wales got the better of a strong-finishing Australia 29-25, having led 23-8 at the break.

Tries from Dane Haylett-Petty and Hooper himself set up a tense finish, but the Wallabies could not quite wrestle back control of the match.

Hooper was disappointed but keen to move on quickly, knowing Australia cannot afford to spend too long reflecting on a defeat that likely sends them into the same side of the draw as England and New Zealand.

"It was a close game between two very willing teams and it came down to the wire," he said.

"It was 17-6 [in the second half] - we had the momentum, we just gave away too many in the first half. In particular the back-to-back points really hurt us.

"Congratulations to Wales for holding us out.

"We'll review it now. Recovery is key. We'll review it pretty hard, but in this format of competition, you've got to move on pretty quickly."

Coach Michael Cheika offered a blunt assessment of Australia's defeat, adding: "What went wrong? We just lost by a couple of points - it was a tight contest and that's the way it goes sometimes."

Related items

  • Irish strike late to thwart Saints' summit bid Irish strike late to thwart Saints' summit bid

    Dave Porecki's last-gasp try prevented 14-man Northampton Saints from going top of the Premiership as London Irish secured a thrilling 20-16 win at Franklin's Gardens.

    The visitors were 16-8 down heading into the final eight minutes but tries from Franco van der Merwe and Porecki got the job done for Irish after Api Ratuniyarawa had seen red.

    Ollie Hassell-Collins' early try gave the underdogs the lead, but the Saints – who lost England centre Piers Francis to injury in the first half – led at the break after Cobus Reinach dotted down and James Grayson added eight points with the boot.

    Ratuniyarawa's second-half dismissal for a high clearance at a ruck proved pivotal, even if another Grayson penalty did initially give Northampton further breathing space. 

    Having seen Reinbach, who confirmed this month he would leave Saints at the end of the season, make a stunning try-saving tackle, the hosts' resolve was broken when Van der Merwe pierced the line.

    Irish continued to press and got their reward at the death, Porecki pouncing to earn their first win since November after an attempted clearance was charged down. 

  • Springboks appoint Erasmus' assistant Nienaber as head coach Springboks appoint Erasmus' assistant Nienaber as head coach

    South Africa have promoted Jacques Nienaber to replace Rassie Erasmus as head coach following their Rugby World Cup triumph.

    Erasmus reverted back to his position of director of rugby after the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in Japan last November and will now oversee his former assistant Nienaber.

    Nienaber was named as Erasmus' successor on Friday in a South Africa statement that said the new coaching set-up is "heavily accented on continuity".

    Mzwandile Stick retains his position as assistant coach, with Felix Jones now a European-based coaching consultant.

    Deon Davids is the new forwards coach, while Bulls scrums coach Daan Human takes up the same role with the world champions and will also stay on with the Super Rugby franchise.

    Davids replaces Matt Proudfoot, who joined England's coaching staff this month.

    Nienaber described his delight at landing the top job.

    "This is a massive honour and responsibility, but I think I have a good understanding of what it entails, especially in this new structure," the 47-year-old said.

    "I've worked with Rassie in a coaching capacity for nearly two decades now and we have a very good idea of how each of us thinks, and as I'll still be reporting to him, our working relationship won't be changing.

    "It's a big step up for me in terms of carrying the day-to-day leadership role and there'll be other adjustments, but in many ways, it will also be business as usual.

    "We've built up a good culture over the past two years and we'll simply be looking to extend that."

    Erasmus stated: "Jacques is highly experienced and has worked with the Springboks on three separate occasions now so knows exactly what the job is about.

    "Jacques will be responsible for the Test match preparation and day-to-day team operations but, as the director of rugby, I will be with the team for the majority of the time and in the coaches' box with Jacques at matches."

  • BREAKING NEWS: Springboks appoint Erasmus' assistant Nienaber as head coach BREAKING NEWS: Springboks appoint Erasmus' assistant Nienaber as head coach

    South Africa have promoted Jacques Nienaber to replace Rassie Erasmus as South Africa head coach following their Rugby World Cup triumph.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.