Serious injury for Cooper in bronze match

Australia second-five Berrick Barnes and teammates celebrate his try.
Australia second-five Berrick Barnes and teammates celebrate his try.
Wales left wing Shane Williams scores a try.
Wales left wing Shane Williams scores a try.
Wales left wing Shane Williams scores a try.
Wales left wing Shane Williams scores a try.
Wales left wing Shane Williams is taken out by Australia's defence.
Wales left wing Shane Williams is taken out by Australia's defence.
Australia fullback Kurtley Beale injured.
Australia fullback Kurtley Beale injured.
Huw Bennett of Wales celebrating Shane Williams' try for Wales.
Huw Bennett of Wales celebrating Shane Williams' try for Wales.
Wales second-five Jamie Roberts  in action.
Wales second-five Jamie Roberts in action.
Australia left wing Digby Ioane tries to beat Wales right wing George North.
Australia left wing Digby Ioane tries to beat Wales right wing George North.
James O'Connor of Australia chases down the ball.
James O'Connor of Australia chases down the ball.
Australia halfback Will Genia passes the ball as he is tackled by Jonathan Davies of Wales.
Australia halfback Will Genia passes the ball as he is tackled by Jonathan Davies of Wales.
Wales right wing George North fends Australia left wing Digby Ioane.
Wales right wing George North fends Australia left wing Digby Ioane.
Australia replacement Rob Horne in action.
Australia replacement Rob Horne in action.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper injured.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper injured.
Wales right wing George North runs the ball upfield.
Wales right wing George North runs the ball upfield.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper goes down hard with a knee injury.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper goes down hard with a knee injury.
Australia second-five Berrick Barnes races in to score the opening try.
Australia second-five Berrick Barnes races in to score the opening try.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper on the ground after a knee injury.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper on the ground after a knee injury.
Australia blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham in action.
Australia blindside flanker Scott Higginbotham in action.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper is tackled by Wales blindside flanker Danny Lydiate.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper is tackled by Wales blindside flanker Danny Lydiate.
Centre Berrick Barnes of the Wallabies dives over to score the opening try.
Centre Berrick Barnes of the Wallabies dives over to score the opening try.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper spreads the ball.
Australia first-five Quade Cooper spreads the ball.
Nathan Sharpe goes for a high ball.
Nathan Sharpe goes for a high ball.
Flyhalf Quade Cooper of the Wallabies looks to offload as he is wrapped up by the Welsh defence.
Flyhalf Quade Cooper of the Wallabies looks to offload as he is wrapped up by the Welsh defence.
Welsh fans pregame.
Welsh fans pregame.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland watches over the pregame warm up.
Wales head coach Warren Gatland watches over the pregame warm up.
Australian coach Robbie Deans pregame.
Australian coach Robbie Deans pregame.
Australian coach Robbie Deans checks out the field before kickoff.
Australian coach Robbie Deans checks out the field before kickoff.
Welsh fans at Eden Park.
Welsh fans at Eden Park.
Welsh fans pregame.
Welsh fans pregame.

Quade Cooper's nightmare World Cup has ended with a serious knee injury that will keep him out of the Wallabies' end of year tour north and also threatens his early participation in Super Rugby.

Cooper was taken off early in the first half of the Wallabies 21-18 bronze medal win over Wales at Eden Park last night.

Australian coach Robbie Deans said expert medical advice was yet to be given but it appeared Cooper has blown an ACL in his right knee.

That could sideline him for as long as six months and affect his return to the champion Queensland Reds team.

"He is OK, he is aware it's a significant injury," Deans said of Cooper who has had such a torrid time in New Zealand over the past seven weeks.

"He will be back playing Super Rugby. This experience will test him but I have no doubt he will come back stronger for it."

It looks like the first-five duties will fall to Berrick Barnes for the rematch with Wales in Cardiff and the clash with the British Barbarians in November.

Deans said it had been good to see Barnes back in action at the World Cup "and playing with confidence" after his long battle with head injuries that threatened to end his career.

Deans felt the Wallabies could take some consolation from the tournament with their third placing.

The Wallabies victory sees them join New Zealand as the only sides to have finished first, second, third and fourth at World Cups.

"It was a third-fourth playoff neither side through preference wanted to be in but both took to it with a lot of pride," Deans said.

"We stuck at it and that's the World Cup - the adrenalin pumps and you're totally committed."

Australian skipper James Horwill was relieved with the win.

"We made the best out of a bad situation. I think we can go home with our heads held high," he said.

Fairfax Media