WATER boy duties have not helped Queensland Reds playmaker Quade Cooper cool down over his Super Rugby suspension, judging by a tweet that could land him in more trouble.
Reduced to the support role for the Reds' knockout final against the Sharks in Brisbane on Saturday, Cooper tweeted this after the match: ''SANZAR - lottery.''
Reds coach Ewen McKenzie refused to cry foul after Cooper-less Queensland's title defence ended with a 30-17 loss to the Sharks, snapping their six-game winning run.
McKenzie had plenty to lament after his final game before handing the reins to Richard Graham and becoming Reds director of coaching. Not only had the Reds lost Cooper to a controversial dangerous tackle ban, his replacement Ben Lucas (ankle) was carried off and hooker Saia Faingaa suffered a corked biceps by the 22nd minute against the Sharks.
A minute later, the Reds trailed 17-0 and the Sharks went on to book a semi-final clash with the Stormers, prompting a scathing post-match analysis from Queensland captain Will Genia.
But McKenzie believed the Reds were in good shape as they headed into a new era. ''There's a lot of things to be positive about,'' he said. ''There's been a lot of talk about the Brumbies having a great season but, in the end, our team's average age is younger than theirs, so we've got a lot of football ahead of this group.
''I've been involved for three years, and a lot of the guys have come into the program, and they've developed as players into Wallabies. It wasn't a great one [on Saturday night] but we will dust ourselves off and keep going.''
The Reds have the potential to groom more into Wallabies after Cooper and teammates Liam Gill, James Slipper, Rob Simmons, Jake Schatz, Radike Samo, Ben Tapuai and James Hanson were called up for a national training camp in Sydney from August 1 to 3. That will result in a 30-man Wallabies squad for the inaugural Rugby Championship. Genia was rested along with Digby Ioane.
Durban referee Jonathan Kaplan was booed off the ground but most Queensland fans saw red over the TV match official denying Gill a 57th-minute try.