Cheika blows up: ‘f***ing cheats’
WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika lost his cool as Australia sunk to a fifth successive defeat at the hands of England.
Eddie Jones' side sealed a 30-6 win but it was rookie New Zealand referee Ben O'Keeffe who stole the limelight.
Despite the scoreline reflecting a one-sided affair, Australia were in with a shout of ending their run of outs against England but three late tries gave an unfair reflection on the game.
In addition to two Wallabies tries being disallowed, the 28-year-old O'Keeffe sin-binned Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale with England being awarded a try that could have been overruled.
Two Owen Farrell penalties gave England a 6-0 lead at halftime in freezing cold and wet conditions which saw both sides struggle to hold on to the ball.
Hooper looked to have scored the first try of the match midway through the first half but he was adjudged to have been fractionally off-side after Marika Koiroibete booted the ball down the left touchline.
Cheika sarcastically applauded the decision from his seat in the stands and unfortunately for him the cameras focused in as the decision was handed down and the footage seems to show him mouthing the words "f***ing cheats"..
It was a record eighth yellow card for Hooper, who was sent to the sidelines for 10 minutes for persistent off-side where he was joined by Beale on the stroke of halftime.
Beale was shown a yellow card for a deliberate knock-on after attempting, and almost pulling off, a one-handed interception off a cut-out pass intended for Jonny May.
Cheika, incensed, made his feelings known to O'Keeffe at the interval after coming down to the touchline and could find himself in hot water with World Rugby for his actions.
Reece Hodge's kick cut the deficit to 6-3 but England extended the lead in contentious fashion after turning defence into attack.
A magnificent scything run from Wallabies centre Samu Kerevi dissected the English defence but Tevita Kuridrani spilled the offload with the line at his mercy.
England halfback Ben Youngs booted the loose ball down the field looking for touch.
Despite video footage appearing to show the ball grazed the line, Elliot Daly's try was awarded after he scampered past Beale to touch down.
The Wallabies fought back well with Foley kicking a penalty after a strong spell of pressure but the game swung in England's favour in the 70th minute.
A superb break from Marika Koroibete saw him exchange passes with Stephen Moore and he appeared to get the ball down under a cluster of bodies.
However, after a lengthy video review, England were awarded a penalty after Moore was adjudged to have impeded England's Chris Robshaw.
The decision knocked the stuffing out of Cheika's side and England ran in three late converted tries through Jonathan Joseph, May and Danny Care to add some gloss to the score.
Post game Cheika wasn't willing to bite on any claims about the referring decisions costing the Wallabies, but he did deliver a few non-subtle digs.
"Through guts and determination we got ourselves back into the game against a lot of adversity," Cheika said postgame.
"Everyone's got eyes," Cheika said when asked about the ball bouncing on the line.
"Maybe I did swear, I don't know."
- with AAP