No apologies, or excuses, from Cheika after England loss

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika won’t be making any apologies for his angry outbursts during Australia’s 30-6 loss to England.

The Wallabies had two disallowed tries and two yellow cards, with Cheika shown on the telecast blowing up over the calls during the game.

Wallabies captain Michael Hooper was denied a try, ruled offside, in the first half, despite winger Marika Koroibete appearing to put a foot to the ball off a Tevita Kuridrani kick.

Hooper was also sin binned in the 37th minute, before a Kurtley Beale intercept attempt was deemed a deliberate knockdown, and a yellow card offence.

Koroibete had a try disallowed in the 70th minute, that could have seen the Wallabies draw level with 10 to go, with Stephen Moore ruled to be obstructing, despite vision emerging that showed England players offside before tackling Koroibete.

Cheika rides the emotion of every game but it was his reaction to Hooper’s non-try, where he sat down, applauding sarcastically and appeared to say ‘f****** cheat’, that caught attention.

England coach Eddie Jones apologised this week after being shown swearing in England’s win over Argentina, and on Saturday, a series of shots were shown comparing the two coaches’ reactions at various points in the match.

Cameras are fixed to the coaches’ box at Twickenham during most Tests, capturing the reactions of each team, but coaches are not obligated to agree to the use of the camera and while swearing is no crime, Cheika's comments could be looked into at World Rugby level.

Cheika bristled at a question about the incident in his post-match interview with broadcaster beIN Sports Australia, walking out of the interview.

“I’m trying to do an interview without getting stuck into that and you want to try to keep making it (about that)..

“Maybe I could’ve said something if that’s the new thing, yeah maybe I did swear,” he said to beIN Sports.

“It happens sometimes in life, I’m sure you have as well, have you? Maybe the TV camera wasn’t on you at the time.”

Cheika queried the TMO approach after the game, an area where all the luck went England’s way.

“I am not sure who the TMO was, I am not sure about the process, how many replays for one incident and how many replays for another,” he said.

“I don't know - he probably just makes his own mind up.”

The Wallabies mentor said he saw no point taking his grievances any higher, and was quick to say his frustration wasn’t transferred onto his players.

“We are doing everything we can to become a team and a nation that plays rugby with no excuses,” he said.

“We can let that echo down throughout our footy.

“We had opportunities to get ourselves back in that game and we didn't.

“We tried to play our way out at the end and made a few errors that allowed them in at the end.”

Wallabies captain Hooper was adamant his try should have stood, with winger Marika Koroibete appearing to get a touch on the ball.

“I thought I worked back, (I had my) hands in the air and Marika, who was onside kicked the ball, and put me onside,” he said.

“That is why I went at the ball and got it over the tryline.

“I don't know what I am supposed to do there. If the kick is put in behind me, ‘Am I meant to stop and not be part of the game?’

“It's hard when you are going at full pace.

“It is something we need to look at and get better. I thought it was a great piece of play from the backs.”

The Wallabies fly out to Edinburgh on Sunday, ahead of their clash with Scotland on Saturday November 25.