The Rugby Championship
Ashley-Cooper plays down heroics
ESPN Staff
September 9, 2012
Australia's Adam Ashley-Cooper, Australia v Wales, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, Australia, June 16, 2012
Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper produced a superb double tackle to deny South Africa a near-certain score during their clash in Perth on Saturday © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Adam Ashley-Cooper
Tournaments/Tours: Rugby Championship
Teams: Australia

Wallabies centre Adam Ashley-Cooper has played down the significance of his outstanding double tackle on South Africa's Lwazi Mvovo and Jean de Villiers that proved pivotal in his side's 26-19 Rugby Championship victory in Perth on Saturday.

Australia led their southern hemisphere rivals 16-13 with a quarter of the game remaining when Ashley-Cooper struck with what he has called his "two for the price of one" tackle. South Africa were pressing hard and looked set for a match-defining try before Ashley-Cooper launched himself at speed to shackle speedster Mvovo before bundling Boks skipper De Villiers into touch.

"There's been a few jokes about it, two-for-one special," Ashley-Cooper told The Australian following the Wallabies' first victory in this year's competition. "I can't explain it. I was a bit lucky. I committed to one and ended up making another. I was lucky I didn't get done for two high shots in the one tackle."

Ashley-Cooper's outstanding effort was just one example of the Wallabies' desperation to silence those critics who have been circling in the wake of their back-to-back defeats to New Zealand with the future of coach Robbie Deans called into question.

"There was a lot of desperation," Ashley-Cooper added. "Coming off the back of the disappointing loss to the Kiwis...we did only let them in for one try even though they scored 22 points.

"Last night, the first half was very fast and quite intense. The second half, it was the last 20 minutes that won us the game. Fitness probably got us over the line in the end and the desperation in defence was a positive."

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