Australian number 10 Quade Cooper may be public enemy number 1 in
New Zealand, but Kiwis rugby fans are still
likely to support the Wallabies over South Africa this weekend.
The dynamic Cooper has been a hate figure since pushed he All Blacks captain Richie McCaw in the face last year in Hong Kong and then used his knee on McCaw in the Tri-Nations decider
before the World Cup, making him – according to the New Zealand Herald
– the most despised player in the tournament.
But when it comes to this weekend’s quarter-final between NZ’s Tri-Nations rivals in Wellington, it seems Kiwis still want to see the mecurial Cooper and his trans-Tasman brethren to win.
It may simply be that they feel it benefits the All Blacks chances of securing their first tournament since 1987, but market research has confirmed that
the support for the Wallabies is more than double what it is for the
Australasian Research Agency UMR Research discovered that on the crunch question of who NZ rugby fans are going to
support in the Australia versus South Africa quarterfinal, 63 per cent went for
Australia and 25 per cent for South Africa.
The favourability rating for Australia was by far the highest of the 16 nations tested.
And the Boks fared even worse when it came to that same favourability rating, coming in under England and the USA.
“At 74 per cent favourable, 8 per cent unfavourable, Australia was clearly
higher than England at 51 per cent favourable, 15 per cent unfavourable and much higher
than the United States 33 per cent favourable, 32 per cent unfavourable.
“South Africa came in even lower at 24 per cent favourable, 32 per cent unfavourable,” a UMR spokesperson said.
“Forty six per cent of New Zealanders indicated that they generally support Australia
in major sporting contests when Australia is not playing against New
Zealand, and 33 per cent that they generally support other countries.
“One possible worrying point for Australia/New Zealand relations is
that younger New Zealanders seem less keen on Australia than older New
“When asked, for instance, who they would support in matches between
Australia and other nations not involving New Zealand, 58 per cent of over
60-year-old New Zealanders would support Australia and 19% whoever is
“Amongst 18 to 29 year olds, 43 per cent would support Australia and 42% whoever Australia was playing against.”