Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Cheat allegations are just good humour, says Aussie

Match-winning Australia flanker David Pocock has laughed off suggestions he is a cheat in the wake of his dominant World Cup performance against South Africa.



The 23-year-old was the key figure in Australia's unlikely 11-9 quarter-final victory over the Springboks, affecting several crucial turnovers to keep the defending champions at bay.

Coach Robbie Deans and other respected experts lauded Pocock's performance as the most dominant individual effort of the tournament.

But not everyone was happy with the number seven's methods.

Springboks captain John Smit openly questioned the legality of Pocock's breakdown tactics after the loss, while South Africa fans unloaded on the superstar fetcher on social media sites.

“It's been pretty funny this week checking the Twitter timeline every now and then for the South African fans. It's been in good humour,” an unfazed Pocock told reporters.

“I think it's fairly standard (being called a cheat) for most number sevens.”

The Wallabies will need all of Pocock's pilfering prowess in order to upset the All Blacks in Sunday's semi-final at Eden Park.

Pocock declared the battle of the breakdown will ultimately decide the match and admits the All Blacks are a more difficult proposition than the Springboks.

“The All Blacks probably have a different set of threats,” he said.

“They use a bit more footwork and you'd probably have to say their work at the breakdown across the board is probably a bit better (than South Africa).

“So we're going to have to step up from last week at the breakdown.”

The Wallabies remain optimistic full-back Kurtley Beale will overcome a hamstring strain in time to face the All Blacks.

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