'Cheika courageous to complain about lack of respect' - Jones backs Wallabies coach

By Alex McLeod

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika looks following the All Blacks' 37-10 win over his side at Eden Park last night. Photo / Photosport
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika looks following the All Blacks' 37-10 win over his side at Eden Park last night. Photo / Photosport

Outspoken English journaslist Stephen Jones has taken to Twitter to voice his support for Wallabies head coach in the wake of their 37-10 defeat at the hands of the All Blacks at Eden Park last night.

It was the third defeat the Wallabies have suffered to the All Blacks this year - their seventh overall - as the All Blacks went on to secure their 18th successive victory, a world record for a tier one nation.

Cheika was unimpressed at the post-match press conference, addressing various issues that had wound him up both in the lead up to the match and during it, such as a listening device being found in an All Blacks meeting room prior to the test match between the two in Sydney in August, an illustration of himself as a clown being published in the Weekend Herald, not being invited into the All Blacks sheds after the match to share a beer, and Henry Speight's disallowed try 46th minute due to Dane Haylett-Petty's obstruction on All Blacks wing Julian Savea.

It was the latter of the quartet of issues that Jones decided to focus on, stating that Cheika was within his rights to be upset about the lack of respect shown towards himself and his team.

"Add another to endless list," Jones began.

"Nonsense ruling-out of Aussie try today, coach Cheika 100% correct/courageous to complain about lack of respect."


Despite being visually angered in the coaches box at the time of the ruling, Cheika was more reserved about the topic in the post-match press conference than the other controversies he discussed.

"Obviously I can't say anything because they've got you by the throat. But I've just never seen shepherding from behind before," Cheika said.

"Before any of that, though, we've got to own our mistakes. We turned the ball over too much."

Controversial Fox Sports commentator Rod Kafer was not as measured as Cheika about the decision, however, declaring referee Nigel Owens "should not referee a test match ever again".

"That is disgraceful. There is no doubt that decision destroyed the game for the Wallabies, and he should be ashamed of himself."

The Associated Press called Cheika "volatile", saying he "hit out at the All Blacks and the New Zealand news media".

AP wrote that Cheika revealed "a deep-seated sense of grievance" as he chose not to congratulate New Zealand on its record 18th straight test win, while also noting that he "complained bitterly" about the cartoon in Herald depicting him as a clown.

"Cheika's final complaint was that the All Blacks didn't invite the Wallabies to join them for a beer after the third Bledisloe Cup match. But he was unusually muted on the most contentious issue of Saturday's match: The decision of Welsh referee Nigel Owens to disallow a 45th minute try to Wallabies winger Henry Speight which would have tied the score at 15-15."

The loss now means the Wallabies' 30-year hoodoo at Eden Park will continue through to at least 2018, with the All Blacks hosting the Australians at Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin next year.

Chieka and his side have had a dismal 2016 season, which has seen them win just three matches - one against the Springboks in Brisbane and a double over Argentina - from 10 outings.

A series loss against England at home and 14th consecutive Bledisloe Cup series defeat to the All Blacks mean that Cheika's side are the first Wallabies team in their 117-year history to be whitewashed 3-0 by two seperate nations in a single season.

The Australians will be hoping to salvage something from their season when they travel to Europe for the end-of-year tour, taking aim at a potential Grand Slam victory against England - who will be looking to make it 4-0 over the Wallabies this year - Wales, Ireland and Scotland.

They also take on France in Paris, as well as a non-test against the French Barbarians in Bordeaux.

- NZ Herald

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