He raged, he swore, he sarcastically applauded the match officials. He even became entangled in a verbal spat with an England fan.

If it was hard to take your eyes off the England-Australia rugby test at Twickenham yesterday, the same could be said about Wallabies coach Michael Cheika's all-action performance up in the stands.

England coach Eddie Jones grabbed the headlines - and even earned a rebuke from his 93-year-old mother - for a foul-mouthed tirade during his team's scrappy 21-8 win over Argentina last weekend. He vowed to be on his best behaviour against Australia, and he was.

Instead, Cheika took centre stage. Never one to hide his emotions, he unleashed a full array of them during a game in which Australia failed to get the rub of the green when it came to refereeing and TMO decisions and lost by a record 30-6. New Zealander Ben O'Keefe had the whistle.


"At the end of the day, that's my own way of dealing with stuff," Cheika said. "I like to get it out and get on with it. I've been able to do it and manage it. That's my way."

Cheika sarcastically laughed out loud and applauded when Australia had a try by captain Michael Hooper disallowed for offside midway through the first half.

He was angry when the same player was sin-binned following a collapsed maul on Australia's line toward the end of the first half, with broadcasters picking up Cheika saying an expletive and then "cheats".

Moments after the halftime whistle sounded and with his team having just been reduced to 13 players following a yellow card to Kurtley Beale, Cheika - "steaming" in his words - headed down to the steps toward pitchside to get some messages across to his team and responded to apparent verbal abuse from some spectators.

"There are plenty of fans giving me a gobful, I can assure you," Cheika said. "And not nice, not pleasant. But that is the way it goes, the way it happens.

"I know when I walk down the stairs that I'm going to cop abuse but that's the way she rolls."

Compared to Cheika, Jones was calmness personified.

"I didn't throw a pen today, I didn't swear - my mother will be pleased, I don't expect a phone call at 5 o'clock in the morning," Jones quipped.


● In other internationals in Europe, South Africa scraped past a lacklustre France 18-17 in Paris yesterday to make some amends for the horror performance against Ireland, and wing Darren Sweetnam scored his first international try as a second-string Ireland survived a massive scare with a narrow 23-20 victory over Fiji in Dublin. No8 Jack Conan and wing Dave Kearney also scored tries for the hosts, who had made 13 changes from the side that thrashed South Africa 38-3 the week before.

A second-string Wales side barely survived another tier two team when they edged Georgia 13-6 in their maiden test clash yesterday in Cardiff; while Argentina scored twice in the last 10 minutes in a 31-15 win over Italy in a see-sawing contest in Florence.

- Agencies