The boos rang out every time he touched the ball - the pantomime villain was back.

Quade Cooper returned to the scene of his most painful rugby memories, and was constantly reminded of it by the crowd of more than 40,000.

But not all of them were against him.

Cooper's Uncle Leo travelled from Tokoroa to Eden Park for the match, dressed in a Wallabies jacket, and holding a kangaroo.


Leo said he was disappointed at the result, with the All Blacks winning 22-0, but pleased that his nephew had a good game.

"The crowd I was sitting with received him well but there was the usual booing and I thought they would have got over the World Cup by now.

"I thought he had a good game, just the direction that he was playing with and his unpredictability. Overall I thought he had a good game but it's a team sport."

Quade's brother Lee also came up from Wellington to see the match last night, but his grandmother Millie was sick with the flu and watched the game from home in Northland.

She told the Herald on Sunday she was still upset with some local rugby fans about the abuse, boos and jeers Quade had endured during the World Cup. "He's not the first Kiwi to go and play for someone else."

Meanwhile, a Queensland Reds jersey Cooper donated to help raise money for paralysed NZ rugby player Seti Tafua had reached $130 last night.

WHANGAMATA'S JIM Pilcher, 65, said it was time for the nation to give embattled Wallaby Quade Cooper a break when he's playing in New Zealand.

"I think it's time we all forgive him," said the poultry farmer enjoying pre-match revelry at Auckland's Viaduct. "After all he's a Kiwi."


He said the sporting public needed to appreciate good skills no matter which side was on the field.

However, Stu Nicholls, 45, had one message for Quade Cooper: "Stay home, Quade, just stay home."

The Taranaki forklift driver said Cooper was out of his depth.

"He shouldn't have come over here. He can't play club rugby properly let alone at international level.

"He's soft; he's just not up to it."