Sydney - A dominant 32-8 win over Wales is not lulling the Wallabies
into any false confidence about their prospects of completing a Grand Slam.
That was the word from Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after
they notched its biggest win of 2016 at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday and
most comfortable victory over Wales in more than a decade.
The effect of having played 10 Tests, including seven in the
past three months, showed for the Wallabies with an emphatic start against a
Welsh side missing big names and lacking match practice.
While Cheika was positive about his side’s performance he
wasn’t letting himself look beyond the Test against Scotland next week.
“I think it's a good start, obviously, for us,” Cheika said
of the win over Wales in Cardiff.
“We've said this from the very start so we're not going to change
our tune now and say 'we're in good shape'.
“We're just going to try and take things a day at a
Their Grand Slam credentials may not yet be proven in the
coach’s eyes but some pre-game risks at the selection table certainly paid off
for the Wallabies.
Going into the match the move to a smaller back row created
concern over the lineout, but the tall timber in their second row Adam Coleman
and Rory Arnold stood up at set piece against Wales.
The two 2016 debutants shouldered even more responsibility
in the Wallabies new lineout structure this week but handled it with ease. They
won 13 lineouts through the game, but Cheika said he wasn’t concerned with
proving a point to anyone.
“I don't think we're looking for validation - we're looking
to do a good job on the field, everyone to do their role,” he said.
“In that half of footy when (Pocock) was playing it was all
about everyone doing their job properly and if Wales read one and got one off
us, it's not the end of the world.
“Just keep going at it. In that first half it didn't happen,
we were able to win our ball so that worked out.
“That's not why we're making selections or what we're
looking for at the back of games.
“We just want to play good rugby, obviously play physical
and play with some attack which is the Australian way.
“Try and be smart, be a bit creative but also work hard all
There was a slice of vindication for Cheika, though, who was
pleased to prove former team-mate Glen Ella wrong, after the Wallaby legend
wrote that Cheika was 'skating on thin ice' with picking players out of
"Glenn's a player who I respect immensely, a teammate
of mine from Randwick and a great Wallaby. He was a great attacking player. We
want people to have opinions on the game," he said.
But at the same time, he's an international coach. He
coaches England and he's entitled to have his opinion.
"It's all good for the game. I'm sure if you rang him
now, he'll be happy we won."
Captain Stephen Moore praised Coleman after the match, with
the 25-year-old stepping up to lineout calling in his first Test season, but
like his coach was keen to move on.
“I don't think we lost that many (lineouts) and I thought
Adam did a really good job of calling there,” he said.
“I don't know if you can rank games and things like that.
“I did think that the guys that hadn't played here before
really did well. We talked a lot about the stadium and the noise - I thought
they all handled it really well which is pleasing."
Meanwhile, scrum-half Will Genia has joined the Wallabies
squad ahead of their upcoming Test against Scotland at Murrayfield this
Genia has been released from French club Stade Français,
with the next three Tests all fall under the international eligibility window,
which gives national teams priority access to their players.
The 28-year-old joined the Wallabies on Sunday night local
time, after returning to his club ahead of the final Bledisloe Cup Test against
New Zealand last month.
Genia will be with the squad for the Scotland, France and
Ireland Tests but his availability for the final Test against England on
December 4 is unclear, with that match outside the Test window.