Oz scrum 'too honest': Cheika

2014-11-29 22:42
Michael Cheika (AFP)

London - Australia coach Michael Cheika suggested his side were possibly "too honest" in the scrum after the Wallabies problems at the set-piece played a key role in their 26-17 defeat by England at Twickenham on Saturday.

England No 8 Ben Morgan scored both of the hosts' tries off the back of scrums, where the Red Rose brigade have long been dominant against the Wallabies.

For away fans in a capacity crowd of more than 82 000, it was a particularly worrying sign with just under a year until England and Australia meet at Twickenham in a potentially decisive 2015 World Cup clash in a pool also including Wales - the so-called 'group of death'.

"You know they (England) are a strong scrum and they've got a good reputation," Cheika told a post-match news conference.

"Some scrums we weren't good enough, out and out, and some scrums were definitely open to interpretation," said Cheika of a match controlled by French referee Jerome Garces.

"Because they (England) have a good reputation, we have to improve ours if we are going to get the rub of the green on those interpretation calls," Cheika added.

"We need to change some things, technique and strategy. Perhaps a bit more wheeling or something because that seems to be accepted.

"Perhaps we are just a little bit too honest maybe in the scrum. There are some personnel we are going to look at as well. The lads are well aware of that," he said.

Australia captain Michael Hooper accepted the Wallaby scrum needed to be improved.

"Like Mike said, there are going to have to be changes made in the way we scrummage. It's not going to be a way forward the way we are going.

"We need to be well-improved there the next time we step put on the field, this (Twickenham) field.

"I'd like to have a scrum that's dominant across the field, the scrum as a weapon the opposition are nervous of," the flanker added.

"We are far from it at the moment but we have a chance to develop that."

Meanwhile Morgan was in no doubt of the key role played by the England forwards in front of him after the team's first win in seven attempts against one of the 'big three' of world champions New Zealand, South Africa and Australia.

"It's always great to score tries but all the credit has to go to the front five who were tremendous today," said Morgan.

Read more on:    michael cheika  |  rugby


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