Australia coach Robbie Deans has defended key playmaker Quade Cooper who has become public enemy number one in New Zealand during the Rugby World Cup.
The New Zealand-born fly half booted his kick-off in the semi final against the All Blacks straight into touch and thereafter had a game he would rather forget. His every move was booed by All Blacks fans but fellow Kiwi Deans expects the Queenslander to bounce back against Wales in the Bronze Final.
"The key thing for Quade is moving on," said Deans. "There are two ways he can go. You can absorb it, accept it, for what it is, but maintain your focus on the things that are important and keep going.
"Or you can let it get the better of you and turn your toes up. I would like to think he won't be doing the latter.
"I've been very impressed, actually, with the way he has carried himself because clearly a lot of the dialogue has been unwarranted.
"It's easy for people who really have no knowledge of the man to take a pot-shot. I think the way he's carried himself has been impressive under the circumstances. I don't think it affected his performances at all, to be honest.
"The whole playing group has been under pressure, the whole playing group has made errors, but it's just the fact that his errors are attributed to a sideshow."
Deans had admitted he is likely to make changes for the clash at Eden Park against Wales on Friday.
"It is very likely there will be change, quite simply off the back of the burden that the core group have had," Deans added. "There are some pretty battered bodies."
Wallabies skipper James Horwill conceded his team have already put the disappointment of a semi final defeat to arch rivals New Zealand behind them, as they prepare to fly back across the Tasman Sea with bronze medals tucked safely away in their luggage.
Horwill said: "I think it's a good thing we are playing so soon (after the semi-final), because of the fact that you cannot sit and dwell on these sort of things.
"The fact that we, in four days' time, pull on the jersey and finish this tournament off on a positive note is the thing that's going to drive us. We want to finish this tournament on the right note, and that will be by finishing third."
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Go to www.wru.co.uk/tryourgame for more information
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