Rugby World Cup Shorts: Cruden steps up as Cooper is, well, Cooper

Wallaby Quade Cooper in action against the All Blacks during the semifinal at Eden Park. Photo / Richard Robinson
Wallaby Quade Cooper in action against the All Blacks during the semifinal at Eden Park. Photo / Richard Robinson

Little big man

We have a new hero. Step forward Aaron C.R.U.D.E.N. Carter Ruled Unfit, Didn't Even Notice.

Banner headlines

Best banner of the tournament: "Woodcock versus Pocock - ours is harder than yours."

One that didn't make it on a banner. "There's a lot of cocks out there - Woodcock, Pocock, Quade Cooper."

TSD I

It all seems a lifetime ago, but the Tindall Stag Do keeps on giving. In royal news, we are relieved that shamed England party boy Mike Tindall has actually gone on honeymoon with wife Zara Phillips. Poolside pictures from Cyprus showed Zara rubbing lotion into her husband's back, suggesting she has forgiven Mike's drunken liaison with ex-girlfriend Jessica Palmer last month.

TSD II

Shamed England swimmer and midfield back Manu Tuilagi has revealed that Tindall wanted to re-create the Palmer clinch as a try celebration. Tuilagi told the DailyMail that Tindall asked him to kiss him on the head just as Jessica did in the "motorboating" incident which coloured England's shabby tournament. Mercifully Tindall never troubled the scorers but Tuilagi planted a smacker on the one-time captain's scone at the airport as the team headed home. England rugby boss Martyn Thomas called the antics "pathetic".

Mum's the word

Tuilagi is still beating himself up for jumping from a ferry into the downtown harbour. His big problem was not the $7778 fine he copped for his stupidity - it was dealing with his very upset mum. "She called me an idiot, stupid - in fact, every name in the book."

Tackle count

Did anyone else notice the only Kiwi league player who made a tackle on Sunday was Sonny Bill Williams?

Anzac spirit

Aussie rugby scribe Greg Growden has boldly suggested the only course for his country now is to back the men in black. Folk who read his Monday Maul column in the Sydney Morning Herald were not so sure. One remarked: "The Kiwis I know and work with would all be on France if we won [last night]."

Mind games

Shrinks could write textbooks about the scrambled mind of Quade Cooper. Where to start? Let's try the bloke's own post-match analysis:

"Mate, I'm not in position to point fingers or have a cry about it [the vitriolic abuse]. There's no regrets. I'll hold my head high and know that I've given it my all."

He goes on: "I am who I am. I'm going to play the way that I do. And whether you like it or not, that's me."

Oz speak

Quade (v): to crumble under pressure. "He lost his job after quadeing badly".

(n): the act of messing something up. "I made a right quade of that raspberry pavlova".

Radio waves

Pre-match nerves upset Newstalk ZB host Pete Montgomery on Sunday morning. "PJ" failed to realise his mic was on and could be heard talking about a guest, ABC sports reporter Tim Gable. Monty said: "I don't want Tim Gable, I want [former All Black captain] Reuben Thorne first, Jesus man! Okay, I'll have to take Tim." The broadcaster also greeted listeners with a "good afternoon". His show is on from 8 to 9am.

- NZ Herald

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