'I understand fans get disappointed' - Michael Cheika defends Wallabies' latest loss

Talk is cheap and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika knows the only way to placate an increasingly agitated Australian rugby fanbase, after letting them down once again, is through actions on the field.

The Wallabies have arrived at yet another crossroads after last night's limp 23-19 defeat to Argentina - the first time Los Pumas have prevailed on Australian soil in 35 years.

Once the disbelief subsided, the level of disgust among supporters was palpable at Cbus Super Stadium on the Gold Coast.

The scene itself was scarcely believable.

One man was so angry his verbal tirade at players led to a physical altercation with Lukhan Tui and several other Wallabies.

While there is no excusing the man's actions - particularly if he pushed Tui's younger sister as alleged - the reality is events would not have unfolded the way they did had the team held up their end of the bargain.

Cheika said he fully recognised the frustration of supporters.

"I understand how fans get disappointed. I'm disappointed as well," he told reporters today.

"I saw he was there in his Wallaby jersey as well, it's not like he doesn't want us to win.

"He wants us to win badly. Sometimes that goes pear-shaped.

"There's a lot of supporters out there, no matter what they're always behind you. You've got to always be mindful of those people.

"It's the national team and that's what people do, a lot of supporters last night (felt) the same.

"You can't be talking about keeping the faith, you've got to show it."

Players and coaches will lick their wounds for the next week before assembling again for a two-week tour that could define Cheika's tenure as Wallabies coach.

First is a trip to Port Elizabeth in South Africa to face a Springboks outfit coming off a stunning 36-34 win over the All Blacks in Wellington.

After that is a rematch with Argentina in Salta, in high-altitude conditions which the Wallabies have traditionally struggled with.

Cheika was frank about his team's lack of "enthusiasm" and said he would dissect the vision of their latest catastrophe before deciding if he will swing the selection axe in response.

"(It was) obviously tough last night. (We) should feel bad. It's the game, you've got to pick yourself up and onto the next one," he said.

"Now we get a run of games away from home and we're going to have to get more consistent ... (bring) better quality play and be more consistent with it and be accountable for that."


Topics



Watch: Steve Hansen admits All Blacks should have tried drop goal against South Africa - 'Of course we should have'

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has admitted that in hindsight, his side should have attempted a drop goal, in order to stave off defeat against South Africa in Wellington last night.

As the All Blacks tried to regain the lead in last night's 36-34 loss, the side attempted to score a winning try right up until the final whistle, compared to taking a one-point advantage through a drop goal.

Ultimately their last ditch try-scoring attempts proved futile as South Africa sealed the win.

Asked after the match, Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus suggested that a drop goal wasn't the New Zealand way, although his opposite admitted that it should have been an option for his side.

"Should we have drop kicked a goal? Of course we should have," Hansen began.

"It's not as if it's not something that's in our back pocket, because it is.

"That's a learning and a game management thing that this team has to go through."

A drop goal would have seen the All Blacks avoid last night's loss. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
TOP STORIES

Watch: Steve Hansen says All Blacks stinging after Springboks loss – 'Of course it hurts'

Following last night's shock 36-34 loss to South Africa, Steve Hansen says that the All Blacks are hurting after missing the chance to seal another Rugby Championship title.

The loss, New Zealand's first at home to South Africa since 2009, means that the All Blacks will have to wait at least another week to potentially claim the 2018 Championship.

Speaking at his post-match media conference, Hansen spoke about the feeling of his troops in the wake of such a shocking loss.

"Any time you lose, of course it hurts," Hansen began.

"The dressing room's very sombre, very quiet.

"It doesn't happen very often - but it's important we learn something from it, otherwise it's a waste of time."

Hansen also backed his side to bounce back, with a trip to face Los Pumas in Argentina a difficult next assignment.

"We're a side that learns pretty quickly.

"We can be as hurt as we like, it's not going to change the result.

"We do have to get ourselves picked up off the floor and carry on and (I) look forward to starting that on Sunday."

New Zealand were stunned 36-34 by South Africa in Wellington last night. Source: 1 NEWS


Topics

TODAY'S
FEATURED STORIES

404

Error 404

Guru Meditation:

XID: 113900537


Varnish cache server


Global media react to All Blacks' shock loss saying to Springboks - 'Invincible men in black are mere mortals'

The All Blacks' shock 36-34 defeat to South Africa in Wellington last night has stunned the world's rugby media, with New Zealand's Southern Hemisphere dominance not as secure as it once seemed.

Coming off the back of consecutive defeats to Argentina and Australia, South Africa responded in style to earn their first win on New Zealand soil in nine years, holding out for an improbable victory in the capital.

With the 2019 World Cup in Japan now less than a year away, the All Blacks' stranglehold on the William Webb Ellis trophy seems a little less certain, with UK critics quick to stick the boot into Steve Hansen's men.

Willie le Roux says last night's win is much needed for South Africa. Source: 1 NEWS

Writing for the Telegraph, Ben Coles wrote that the result benefited not just South Africa, but the global game as a whole.

"This was the result world rugby needed," Coles said.

"After the British and Lions won the second Test in Wellington last year, South Africa raided the same venue today for their first victory over the All Blacks in New Zealand for nine years."

South Africa's Willie le Roux celebrates the final whistle as Springboks celebrate their 36-34 win over the All Blacks
South Africa's Willie le Roux celebrates the final whistle as Springboks celebrate their 36-34 win over the All Blacks Source: Photosport

South Africa's Nigel Botherway concurred with his UK equivalent's appraisal, saying:

"South Africa did world rugby a massive favour here in Wellington, proving that New Zealand can be beaten: that the previously invincible men in black are mere mortals after all."

South African writer Mahlaste Mphahlele though, pointed the finger at the boot of All Blacks first-five Beauden Barrett, who missed four of his six attempts at goal.

New Zealand were stunned 36-34 by South Africa in Wellington last night. Source: 1 NEWS

"Though the Boks were impressive for this bonus-point victory against their bitter rivals in all facets of the game' they partly have All Blacks flyhalf Beauden Barrett to thank as he missed four easy conversions that could have proved the difference," Mphahlele said in the Sunday Times South Africa.

Australian media also weighed in on the All Blacks' downfall, with Fox Sports' Christy Doran saying:

"Rated $8 outsiders heading into the Rugby Championship clash, the upset was arguably the biggest in Test rugby since Eddie Jones' Japan beat the Springboks in their opening match of the 2015 Rugby World Cup."

Barrett converted only two conversions from six in tonight's 36-34 loss to the Springboks. Source: 1 NEWS

Rugby World magazine's Paul Williams though, predicts the All Blacks to return fire immediately, simply tweeting that:

"You don't want to be the team playing the All Blacks next..."


Topics