World Cup quarter-final forgotten for Wallabies

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

As far as the Wallabies are concerned, last year’s World Cup quarter-final against Scotland has practically been forgotten.

The 35-34 thriller, decided by a last-minute penalty, put the Wallabies into the World Cup’s final four but Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said.

Cheika wasn’t keen to speculate on the emotions of Scotland, who said on Monday that there was definitely some extra motivation facing Australia.

“It’s hard for me to say because I’m not in their shoes, I’m on the total opposite side,” he said.

“If you looked at us, we we were in the World Cup final over a year ago and then we lost five games in a row so things change and we can see that we’re looking at things more going forward than looking backwards.

“That’s been the approach and that’s the approach we’ll stay with. I try to keep myself exclusively within our team’s mindset.

“Trying to think what the opposition is motivated by is not going to work, not going to do you any good.”

A penalty awarded in the final minute gave the Wallabies a final shot at what was ultimately the winning goal saw referee Craig Joubert pilloried after the match, but scrumhalf Will Genia said they’d moved on.

“I don’t think they’d think about it, I got asked a question last week about the Rugby World Cup final and I’d completely forgotten about it,” he said.

“Someone asked me if I was still disappointed because it was around the same time last year.

“I don’t think so, a year is a long time, they’ve played a lot of rugby since then as well. - Will Genia

“In my mind, probably not, but you’d have to ask them."

Reflecting on that quarter-final, Genia said all he remembers is the jubilation of victory.

“We were pumped, we won. I say that respectfully, we were pumped because we won, “ he said.

“At the time it looked like a penalty, it was awarded as a penalty, and [Bernard Foley] stepped up and kicked the goal.

“It was a strange thing after the game for the ref to run off the field, but we were stoked.

“They were clearly disappointed and felt like they were hard-done by, and might still feel like they are, but what’s done is done.”

Regardless of the motivation, Cheika said Scotland would pose a trickier threat than their opening opponent Wales, who they defeated 32-8 last weekend.

“I think in these tours, every game gets harder because of the fact that you’re here and you’re getting seen here against the relative opponents,” he said

“So they’ve maybe been watching our video against southern hemisphere opponents and now we’ve come up here they have a chance to look at us against northern hemisphere opponents who they play against more regularly.

“Their ability to analyse … they would have been sitting back, they didn’t play last week, and watching us and doing their homework.

“Their coach is a very astute coach so they’ll be doing their homework on what we’re bringing.

“I just found from my experience in the tour of ’14 and then just having a look at things the games get harder every game no matter who you play.”

All of the Wallabies’ Spring Tour Tests will be broadcast LIVE on beIn Sports and streamed LIVE on Foxtel Go (for Foxtel subscribers).