Jeff Horn gets in the ring for the Wal­la­bies

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - SPORT - Jim Tucker

BOX­ING un­der­dog Jeff Horn has roused the Wal­la­bies to re­dis­cover their ar­mour of self­be­lief to floor a world cham­pion.

The Bris­bane wel­ter­weight spoke im­pres­sively when liken­ing the quest to knock out the All Blacks to his own leap of faith to take down ring leg­end Manny Pac­quiao.

His ar­rival at Wal­la­bies train­ing at Bal­ly­more was ma­jor in­spi­ra­tion for part-time pug Quade Cooper be­cause he knew all about Horn’s un­seen toil in the gym.

Low blows have rained on the Wal­la­bies since an­gry fan Jack Quigley’s dam-burst­ing Face­book post be­rated the sloppy 24-19 loss to Scot­land.

Horn was an ideal voice on fight­ing back, hav­ing been picked on as a school­boy be­fore he laced on the gloves.

“You’ve got to get your con­fi­dence up, like box­ing did for me, and be­lief is like ar­mour,” he said.

Ruth­lessly beat­ing a young Ital­ian side, with a vol­ley of five or six killer tries, must be the way for the Wal­la­bies at a half-empty Sun­corp Sta­dium on Satur­day.

Horn is $6 to knock out Pac­quiao on July 2 at the same venue and many rate the Wal­la­bies at sim­i­lar odds to top­ple the Ki­wis on Au­gust 19 in Syd­ney.

“Some­times it just takes get­ting a ri­val at the right time and the Wal­la­bies be­ing in the zone, like I want to be on my fight day,” Horn said.

“It’s then that amaz­ing things can hap­pen.”

Cooper’s zeal for the com­par­i­son was in­stant and he threw a hay­maker at key­board war­riors launch­ing barbs at the care fac­tor within the Wal­la­bies.

“Jeff is a mas­sive in­spi­ra­tion for us ... he has a mas­sive chal­lenge fight­ing Manny and that’s like us as foot­ballers with Italy and later the All Blacks for the Bledis­loe Cup,” Cooper said.

Coach Michael Cheika ad­mirably phoned Quigley for a chat on Mon­day af­ter the fa­natic’s anger stirred an army of 42,000-plus dis­grun­tled Face­book be­liev­ers.

Quigley had slated the Wal­la­bies for “quite lit­er­ally hurt­ing peo­ple with your lack of ap­pli­ca­tion to your jobs”.

“I’m not say­ing it (crit­i­cism) is un­fair … and to see pas­sion from fans is great,” Cooper said.

“The boys are work­ing hard. We want to get tro­phies, we’re aim­ing at the All Blacks for the Bledis­loe and we want Australian rugby back to the high stan­dards we set for our­selves.”

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