I can't believe I'm saying this, but I feel sorry for Wallabies coach Michael Cheika. He's not a popular guy in New Zealand and, yes, he's an atrocious loser. Every time the Wallabies go down (a lot in recent years), he takes aim at someone or something, usually the bloke with the whistle.

Then there was the time he bizarrely claimed the result of that heartbreaking Bledisloe Cup loss in Dunedin was "pre-scripted" to deliver the All Blacks a victory in a week when the nation was mourning the loss of Sir Colin Meads.

How he was never cited by World Rugby for those comments still confounds me.
Yet he was sanctioned for being caught by cameras for dropping the F-bomb and calling match officials "cheats" after the Wallabies had two tries disallowed in their 30-6 loss to England last weekend.

Broadcasters know very well he's TV gold — put a camera on him at any contentious point of a match and you're guaranteed comical gesturing and very public meltdowns.
And, naturally, audiences love it.


This is where I have some empathy for Cheika . . . and an issue with the broadcasters.

If it's deemed offensive to see a high profile coach mouthing off to the world, why show it over and over again on slo-mo replay just to ensure the message is relayed thoroughly to the millions of viewers — including many children?

The All Blacks believe the coaches box should be off limits as it's their place of work, where emotions often spill over.

Cheika's passion is undeniable. He's the guy that on his first day as Waratahs coach told the management team they could bugger off if they were there for the money or the fame — and spent the rest of the day on the phone to supporters who had written to the organisation to vent their frustration.

He won't be on many Christmas card lists in this country but he shouldn't be publicly slammed for swearing in what is effectively his office.

Best of the Week
Former All Black prop Carl Hoeft's Facebook comment on the news that NRL player Sam Kasiano continued the Melbourne Storm's "tradition" of having new signings perform manual labour in the local community.

"Every kid now expects a handout in rugby. Something for free that doesn't hurt. You want it? Go and earn it. Go to the unfashionable club that offers you nothing, get up at 6am and go to work, then go to training and show what you're all about. No days off. That's how you earn respect," Hoeft wrote.

"I was an apprentice plumber in Te Aroha, digging ditches in the wet and shit for four years, playing club rugby, training whenever I could, always doing extras that nobody ever saw, playing 3rd Division NPC for Thames Valley. Getting my arse kicked . . . long before Otago or the Highlanders offered me a Super 12 contract.
"That's what it took then . . . and it still does now."

We should be proud and support all our teams. Through thick and thin. Photo / Photosport
We should be proud and support all our teams. Through thick and thin. Photo / Photosport

Worst of the Week

Keyboard warriors taking to social media to spew abuse at Kiwis halfback Shaun Johnson — with one troll suggesting he shoot himself.

Is this symbolic of league fans?

The general New Zealand sporting public have no issue supporting our netballers, rugby players, yachties, or rowers.

Win or lose, we generally stay strong, but when it comes to league, supporters are often terrible and should be ashamed at some of the comments they make on public platforms.

We should be proud and support all our teams. Through thick and thin.