Gregor Paul is the Herald on Sunday's rugby writer

Gregor Paul: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's extraordinary outburst as All Blacks claim record

On the night the All Blacks claimed a world record and place in history, they collected an enemy along the way.

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was in no mood to play the role of gracious loser and instead let rip at what he perceived to be a chronic lack of respect shown by New Zealand and went so far as to say he even felt they had accused him of planting the mystery bug in Sydney which is part of an ongoing police investigation.

It was an extraordinary outburst by Cheika, revealing as it did how deeply the All Blacks and head coach Steve Hansen in particular have got under his skin.

His anger has obviously been simmering since the All Blacks discovered a listening device in their team room in the build-up to the first Bledisloe Cup test of the year in Sydney.

The story became public on the morning of the match. No one from New Zealand made any accusations about where the bug came from and the matter was handed to the New South Wales Police.

"I would say they caught me a bit offside with the accusation that we tried to bug them," said Cheika when asked whether his and the Wallabies' relationship had turned septic with the All Blacks.

"Really? Hello? Honestly? They had that the whole week. That showed a lack of respect. I wouldn't be smart enough to get that sort of stuff organised. I am too busy working on my own thing.

"They don't need to do that kind of stuff. It's only because they want to try to needle me or us or whatever. I wouldn't say we are friendly but, then again, you are not supposed to be friendly with the opposition, are you?"

He wasn't finished there, however. In a slightly curious claim, he accused the All Blacks of dressing the Wallabies up as clowns in The Weekend Herald.

When he was told that the All Blacks could hardly be held responsible for the actions of a media outlet, he suggested, on the basis that the Herald broke the story about Spygate, that the two organisations were one and the same thing.

"I don't think they want my comment anyway. They don't. They dressed us up as clowns today so I don't think they would respect our comment. It was on the front page of the paper. That's the same guy who reported the supposed bug so that's the way it is.

"Where did that come from? They don't need our comment. They are an unbelievably good team. The way they play the game is outstanding."

Cheika was measured when asked about his side's controversial disallowed try - he looked furious at the time - saying it didn't have an impact on the result.

But his final blast was at the lack of an invite to share a beer with the All Blacks. He said he and the team would have been more than willing to share a beer with their old enemy but hadn't been invited to do so.

Again, it was a statement that was only half-mired in truth as Hansen said there was an open invitation to come in after any game - something the Wallabies all knew.

- NZ Herald

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