Former Wallaby captain Nick Farr-Jones has warned New Zealand's rugby fans that Robbie Deans' side are poised to get "a hell of a lot better" - and the All Blacks should be wary of the enigmatic Quade Cooper.
Farr-Jones said it was a "blood, guts and tears" performance from Australia in their Rugby World Cup quarter-final clash, but admitted to Radio Sport he was baffled how the Wallabies managed to overcome the Springboks on Sunday.
"I'm still scratching my head. I don't know [how we won that]. I'm sure there are a whole bunch of Springboks supporters thinking 'how did we lose that'? The good thing about this for the Wallabies is that they know they can get so much better - and they will get better.
"If I was Robbie Deans the first thing I'd do waking up this morning is say 'guys, have two days off'. Their bodies must be unbelievably bruised and battered. I think it was one of the most courageous victories. I mean, it wasn't great rugby - in some aspects it was very dumb rugby in the way we played. We couldn't win a line-out to save ourselves, it was just defence, defence, defence."
He suggested Robbie Deans could be questioning his investment in Quade Cooper after his below-par performance, but said he is a great player when he's on form.
"He can't play that badly again. That's the scary thing for New Zealand - the enigma that is Quade Cooper, will he turn up next weekend at Eden Park and put them out of this tournament?"
The mental factor for the All Blacks will be huge next weekend, Farr-Jones added.
"Whilst the All Blacks have dominated Australia in the last couple of years on the scoreboard as far as statistics go, there's no doubt the team will know you've never beaten us in a World Cup, you've lost in two-semi finals to us.
"And we've got a bunch of guys that are very brave and courageous that will defend like Argentina did last night and yet can also have some brilliance that Argentina didn't have."
- Herald Online