Cheika presses on after historic series loss

2016-06-26 20:22
Australian millionaire coach Michael Cheika is having a ball with his charges at the rugby World Cup. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Sydney - Coach Michael Cheika is prepared for critics to put the boot in after the Wallabies slumped to their first home three-Test series loss to England this weekend.

But Cheika, who took the Wallabies to last year's World Cup final in London, said he and his players will bounce back in the Bledisloe Cup Tests against world champions New Zealand in August.

The Wallabies outscored the Six Nations champions five tries to four but fell to Owen Farrell's radar goalkicking to go down 44-40 in Saturday's third Test in Sydney to hand the tourists a historic series whitewash.

Cheika and the Wallabies have been under scrutiny throughout the series, particularly the coach's insistence on his team playing high-risk attacking rugby.

"I know there will be plenty of people looking to put the boot in, and I'm ready for that," Cheika told reporters after Saturday's loss.

"But I'll always get back up and as a team we'll come back and try and play that style of footy."

But Cheika has vowed to have the Wallabies, reinforced by their European playing contingent Matt Giteau, Drew Mitchell, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Will Genia and possibly Quade Cooper, firing for the Rugby Championship and Bledisloe Cup Tests.

"The plan was always to bring back the guys from Europe. I saw them all in January and asked them who wanted to keep playing and they all put their hands up to play," he said.

"We gave those guys a break, you can't play rugby for 12 months of the year and in that opportunity we blooded some new blokes in this series.

"Experience makes a big difference. It's very painful right now, but we will dust ourselves off and come back and do our absolute best when the Bledisloe Cup starts."

Cheika said despite the series clean sweep that he will stick to his attacking rugby philosophy and aim to weed out the errors that bedevilled the Wallabies' performance against England.

"I want us to be able to play that type of footy and we can do it without as many errors and that means working harder, being fitter, being more accurate and getting guys to fulfil their potential more," he said.

"I will always accept full consequences from that style of game. That's how I've been brought up. That's when I came into coach Australia they wanted the team to play like that and that's how I want to coach."

Cheika praised the work of Jones, his former clubmate at Randwick in Sydney, for energising England after their shock early exit from their own World Cup last October.

"They haven't lost a game since he's been in charge, so you really can't say anything, can you? It's plain sailing," he said.

Lock Rob Simmons suffered an AC injury to his right shoulder in Saturday's defeat and could be sidelined for between one to four weeks.

The Wallabies open their Rugby Championship campaign against the All Blacks in Sydney on August 20.

Read more on:    wallabies  |  michael cheika  |  rugby


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