St George Illawarra Dragons prop Mike Cooper is looking forward to another big personal test against Wests Tigers at ANZ Stadium, Olympic Park on Sunday.
The Warrington Wolves Academy junior is in the midst of his first season with the Red V having previously plyed his trade with Warrington Wolves in the Super League and admits he joined the Red V to test himself against the toughest opposition.
Cooper laments that a few lapses in concentration proved costly against league-leaders the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles last round and that he and his teammates can ill-afford to do the same against a forward pack boasting NSW Blues representative Aaron Woods and Keith Galloway.
“It was a good solid performances against Manly but we sort of let ourselves go with a few penalties and then some errors” said Cooper.
“When you’re playing a team like Manly you cannot afford to be giving those types of mistakes away.
“It’s a game we could have won having been in there for a lot of it but a few lapses in concentration cost us in the end.
“It will be a big challenge for us against the Tigers as they have a big forward pack but we are going alright ourselves in the middle and have not really conceded a try for the past five or six games.
“We can only keep working hard and if we can get one over their forward pack then that will help us on our way to hopefully securing a victory on the weekend.
“Every week has been a big challenge for me which is one of the reasons why I wanted to come out here and I always feel I play better knowing I am going to be tested.
“Overall, everyone is confident in our structures and their ability and know what to do which has paid off for us.”