x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

Cooper and Australia remain positive after setback

Quade Cooper is backing Australia to fight back from their disappointing loss to Ireland.

Australia are desperate to get back on the pitch and put their shock defeat to Ireland behind them, according to Quade Cooper, the fly-half.

The Wallabies were surprised 15-6 by Ireland in Auckland on Saturday, with the result meaning the Australians are facing a potentially tougher task in the knockout stages of the Rugby World Cup unless Ireland lose either of their two remaining pool matches.

South Africa are the likely quarter-final opponents, with New Zealand the expected semi-final opposition if they are successful.

The Australians are next in action on Saturday against Romania and Cooper said: "Everyone is stinging to get back out there and play.

"The good thing about this tournament is that we're still in it. It's just going to be a harder path now."

Cooper said he and his teammates, while disappointed, were not reading too much into the defeat to the Irish.

"We played down their half a fair bit but we just didn't capitalise on opportunities.

"It's a game of momentum and if you've got nothing and the other team has all of it, nine times out of 10 you're going to be on the back foot, which makes it very hard to win the game."

* Associated Press