Bryan Habana is probably going through the worst dip in form of his career but not everyone believes the Bok win should be discarded, at least not the Aussies.
Stephen Nell – Sport24
Wallaby utility back Adam Ashley-Cooper on Monday dismissed suggestions that Bryan Habana had a “shocker” at Loftus Versfeld and believes the Springbok wing remains an extremely dangerous opponent.
“Every guy is entitled to a shocker now and then. Bryan has had five or six years of pure quality and is also just human. From what I saw he dropped one ball from a kick-off and that is what everybody is losing the plot about. I don’t think he did badly,” Ashley Cooper said outside the Wallabies’ luxury hotel in Umhlanga Rocks.
“Bryan is one of the best wings in the world. If you don’t show him respect, he’s going to make you look very silly.”
Ashley-Cooper did not spare himself criticism in assessing the Wallabies’ performance in Pretoria. He admitted that Jaque Fourie carried the ball better than him and that he should not have lost possession when he was tackled by Francois Hougaard close to the Boks’ try-line late in the game.
“Jaque has a big physical presence and broke through our defence a few times. That is what you want in an outside centre. He carried the ball stronger than I did,” said Ashley-Cooper.
“That tackle on me had a major impact on the result. He (Hougaard) did well to make the tackle, but it’s disappointing that I dropped the ball. Nine times out of 10 I would have succeeded in retaining possession.”
The Wallabies are keen to continue playing the game at a high pace in a bid to tire the Boks, but admit that their performance in the second half will have to improve.
“We’re happy with the balance in our play, but will have to pay attention to stopping their attacks and how we use our possession the second half,” said Ashley-Cooper.
“We had the chance to make history, so everyone is disappointed about the loss. The guys will be looking to come back hard in Bloemfontein.”
Meanwhile, lock Nathan Sharpe is likely to recover in time from his ankle injury to play against the Boks in Bloemfontein. He is likely to resume training on Wednesday.