BROTHERS SETTLE FOR DRAW
THE twists and turns of Quade Cooper’s contractual saga roll on, with the possibility remaining that he will play for Queensland from 2017- 19 as part of a deal which will allow him to play Sevens at the Olympics next year.
It is believed the goalposts have changed since the Reds put out a statement declaring they had ceased negotiations with Cooper.
The ARU has reportedly agreed to cover Cooper’s wage in full for 2016, which is fair given he will not likely be playing Super Rugby next year due to his Sevens commitments.
The ARU and a Super Rugby franchise would then split Cooper’s salary in half from 2017- 19.
Cooper still has a signed two- year contract with French glamour club Toulon and by late yesterday he had not indicated to them that he would renege on that deal.
But in all likelihood he will, because Cooper is desperate to play Sevens in Rio and become an Olympian.
When it was revealed last month Cooper was to remain in Australia to fulfil his Olympic ambition and potentially join the NSW Waratahs, his souring relationship with Queensland appeared irreparable.
But influential figures have worked behind the scenes over the past fortnight. ROSS River have continued to build momentum in the countdown to finals rugby with a 17- all draw with Brothers at Ignatius Park oval.
The Redskins kicked a penalty on full- time to share points with the Brethren, who were left dejected after appearing to seal a back- up victory following the previous weekend’s close win over Townsville and District Rugby Union competition pace setters Teachers West.
Teachers returned to form with a 50- 22 thumping of Burdekin and North Ward maintained their late season charge with a 42- 20 win over Western Suburbs.
Brothers co- coach Ben Collings said his team were left to lament a late lapse in concentration to allow Ross River a share of the spoils.
kept coming at us and that’s what happens when you take your foot off the pedal,” Collings said.
“To get that win last weekend and then turn it around with a result like that is pretty disappointing but Ross River are a good team and they probably haven’t played at their best for the last couple of weeks. In the end, we’ll take a draw over a loss any day.”
Opponents in last year’s grand final, the Brethren and Redskins could still find themselves facing each other at season’s end, with the teams sitting second and third respectively. Brothers have a bye this weekend, which could come in handy for the defending premiers as they work to get all parts of their game in place.
“There’s a couple of fundamental things around the ruck we really need to get right, because we weren’t able to get our backs involved as much as we would have liked,” Collings said. “But our back rowers got around the field really well and stopped a couple of shifts in the momentum that could
have really hurt us.”
CATCH ME: Redskins Joseph Veukiso looks to break the Brothers’ defence