Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup: I'm not counting points, says Australian coach Michael Cheika

Australia 28-13 Fiji

By Phil Blanche

Published 24/09/2015

Crossing the line: David Pocock scored two tries
Crossing the line: David Pocock scored two tries

Australia coach Michael Cheika insisted he was not bothered by his side missing out on a World Cup bonus point against Fiji.

The Wallabies led 25-3 just three minutes into the second-half after prop Sekope Kepu scored their third try to follow David Pocock's double, but they failed to get over for a bonus-point clinching fourth as Fiji fought back to lose the Pool A contest in Cardiff 28-13.

England did claim a bonus point against Fiji, albeit in the final seconds, in the tournament opener at Twickenham last Friday but Cheika feels his side are not at a disadvantage in a tough pool which also includes Wales.

"I'm new to international rugby but winning a Test match is all you need to do," Cheika said. "I'm not counting points, I just want to win a game and then try and win the next one. That's it.

"I preach to my team about being humble and going into the match with Fiji and thinking about claiming a bonus point off them is not the right thing.

"England got a bonus point in the very last minute and they had a fair few looks to give the try, so they took it right into the extra time to get it.

"That's their top team and they're favourites in our pool being the home team, but Fiji are a top team and their players are playing all over the world now."

Australia's next test is against pool minnows Uruguay at Villa Park on Sunday and Cheika says he will change the entire team which started against Fiji.

Cheika wants to give all his players game-time before their Twickenham showdown with England on October 3 because he feels the hosts have an advantage when it comes to the fixture list.

"England go week, week, week - every weekend," Cheika said. "We don't have that advantage and play every four or five days, so it's important we use our squad. We've come into the tournament with people not too sure if we're any good or not, but it's up to us to change that via consistent performance."

australia 28

fiji 13

Australia: Tries: Pocock 2, Kepu. Cons: Foley 2. Pens: Foley 3.

Australia: Folau, Ashley-Cooper, Kuridrani, Giteau, Horne, Foley, Genia, Sio, Moore, Kepu, Douglas, Simmons, Fardy,

Hooper, Pocock. Replacements: Beale for Giteau (74), Phipps for Genia (68), Slipper for Sio (56), Polota-Nau for Moore (68),

Holmes for Kepu (56), Skelton for Douglas (76). Not Used: Mumm, Toomua.

Sin Bin: Kuridrani (74).

Fiji: Tries: Volavola. Cons: Nadolo. Pens: Nadolo 2.

Fiji: Talebula, Nayacalevu, Goneva, Lovobalavu, Nadolo, Volavola, Matawalu, Ma'afu, Tuapati, Saulo, Cavubati, Nakarawa, Yato, Qera, Talei. Replacements: Tikoirotuma for Nayacalevu (5), Kenatale for Matawalu (50), Colati for Ma'afu (78),

Soqeta for Cavubati (63), Ravulo for Talei (78). Not Used: Veikoso, Ravai, Matavesi.

Sin Bin: Ma'afu (30).

Attendance: 67,253

Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand).

Belfast Telegraph

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph