Wallabies are hurting but will rebound

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 07:04

REACTION: Australia coach Michael Cheika says the Wallabies will rebound after getting over the hurt of Ireland dashing their dreams of emulating the 1984 side in a Grand Slam sweep of the Home Nations.

The 49-year-old, who had guided the team to wins over Wales , Scotland and France, admitted it had been frustrating to see his side come back from 0-17 down to lead after an hour and then lose 24-27 in a thrilling encounter.

"It is a very tough result. We'll be hurting a lot tonight but then we'll dust ourselves off for next week [they round off their tour against England, who whipped them 3-0 in an historic series victory Down Under earlier this year].

"You take disappointment forward with you. Okay, that hurt but it's not going to happen again. We can't cry about it now it's over," Cheika said.

Cheika, who had a successful spell coaching Irish province Leinster to the 2009 European Cup trophy, admitted it had been frustrating watching his side fight back after an awful first half display but fail to finish off the Irish, who were a patchwork side by the end with several players playing out of position.

"Without talking about the decisions [of referee Jerome Garces], I was a little bit frustrated by the consistency of the maul rule. That hurts a bit as we thought we had a couple ourselves. Ireland kept the ball and had the consistency with the ball.

"We conceded two silly tries in the first half, allowing the ball to bounce for the first one and then a huge big hole in our defence for the second one. In the second half, we had them on the back foot and I don't know what happened to our defence but they got a third try.

"I was really pleased with the way we came back but we have to be much more disciplined, you can't win matches like that," he added.

Cheika, who became the first coach to win the major Northern and Southern hemisphere continental trophies when he guided the Waratahs to the 2014 Super Rugby title, appeared far from happy with Garces awarding 13 penalties against his side.

"Those penalties cost us territory and points and you can't win a Test match giving those away. Refereeing decisions are all about consistency and it is something I will deal with Alain Rolland [World Rugby's head of refereeing] and go through the proper channels.

"I can't talk about those now, I'd love to but we're not allowed to and I don't want to get into strife," he stated.

Cheika, who won world coach of the year in 2015 after taking over in 2014 and turning a demoralised Wallabies outfit into World Cup finalists, said they simply couldn't just turn up and play one half of good rugby.

"We did that against Scotland and got away with it but Ireland are a different order. We're good with the ball and do well with the ball. Maybe I'm naive but I like to win matches by playing good rugby and will continue to do so," he said.

Agence France-Presse