No ref-bashing from Cheika

Sun, 19 Nov 2017 06:56

REACTION: Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika refused to criticise referee Ben O’Keeffe and insisted there would be no excuses after his side were beaten 6-30 by England in a match packed with controversial incidents.

Australia's loss makes this their equal-longest losing streak against England since a run of defeats going from 2000-2003, with a six-point half-time deficit turning into 24 by the final whistle.

Australia trailed throughout the match, faced a two-man handicap by the break, up against some controversial refereeing decisions by Ben O'Keefe that left coach Michael Cheika fuming, and mistakes of their own making.

The penalty count finished up even but captain Michael Hooper was sent off for the second week in a row for repeated infringements, with fullback Kurtley Beale sin-binned for a deliberate knockdown, just before half-time.

The New Zealander also disallowed tries by flank Hooper and wing Marika Koroibete for offside, which left Chieka visibly during the match.

However, the coach was more measured afterwards, stating: "We stayed in the game against a fair bit of adversity and then when the moments came to really get back in the game, to put pressure on England, we made some mistakes, released that pressure, and they were able to capitalise on those errors,"

He further went on to explained: "Ifs don’t count. We’re looking to make a no-excuses culture in our footy and we’re not making any excuses,"

Asked if all of the debatable calls by the match officials had been correct, Cheika replied: "I think it’s irrelevant, at the end of the day, because we had chances. We got ourselves back in it, against whatever adversity there was, and we weren’t clinical enough in those moments to take advantage of that determination we showed.

"It wasn’t a blowout – that’s the way the score looked, everyone knows what happens on the day.

"I thought we showed a lot of courage and a lot of determination to stay in against a fair bit of adversity. And then we weren’t clinical enough in the key moments,"

The loss was compounded with news that lock Adam Coleman would be heading home for an operation on his injured thumb, ruling him out of the final match against Scotland.

Australia head to Edinburgh, ahead of their final tour match, against Scotland.

Source: Agence France-Presse & Rugbypass