Cooper ready to put wrongs right


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Reds Playmaker Quade Cooper wants to bury memories of his worst and most embarrassing game on Saturday night when the Reds face the Chiefs who ended the Crusaders unbeaten run last weekend.

Cooper, 20, returns to the province of his birth looking to make his own personal 2007 horror show a distant memory at Waikato Stadium.

The talented five-eighth ended up in tears in the dressing room after he dropped the ball seven times in a terrible 21-19 loss to the Chiefs at Suncorp Stadium last year.

His performance was so bad that it was posted on You Tube soon after as a goof-ups video underscored by the Benny Hill theme. (Click HERE to watch it).

With his family in Australia and New Zealand watching the then 18-year-old said he let the pressure overwhelm him.

“I’ve thought a lot about that game,” Cooper told AAP.

“Before that game and leading up to it I put a lot of pressure on myself.

“I really wanted to have a good game but the case was I probably had the worst game I had ever played in my life.”

Cooper has grown up a lot since then and the bigger and wiser Cooper knows it won’t be any easier on Saturday night against the form side of the competition but he is better prepared.

“It will be an even bigger challenge to be back home but I think I learned a lot last year from all the ups and downs we had as a team.

“That sort of benefited me this year, I’ve had a lot more ups this year than downs.

“It’s just footy. I’ve been playing since I was three and I can’t stress that enough, it’s only footy.”

The Reds will fly into Hamilton late on Thursday with lists provided by a chastened Latham (knee) after he upset Hamilton’s mayor and tourism operators in 2006 for partly reasoning the Reds’ flat start in their 35-17 loss was due to pre-match boredom.

“Even though Latho can’t go he’s given the guys to-do lists,” said coach Phil Mooney who wouldn’t give away what sights and activities were planned.

“He was taken out of context at the time, he loves Hamilton.”

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