Australia coach Cheika rips into officials

David Pocock

David Pocock

One tackle brought him into the contest.

Rhys Patchell had a special day at the Rugby World Cup.

Australian centre Samu Kerevi said he "might as well join the NRL" after being penalised for a damaging ball carry in the Wallabies' 29-25 pool loss to Wales on Sunday. The Aussie winger went on to score a penalty and a try. "That was an unbelievable act of real bravery".

"If it is going to be a factor in the game, we have to deal with it".

Warren Gatland says Wales should celebrate World Cup victory over Australia, but must not take anything for granted for the rest of the tournament.

It proved match-swinging as Patchell landed the subsequent penalty and a rejuvenated Wales scored a try in a key period just before halftime.

Then he made himself really known. And it became a typical Wales-Australia clash, going right down to the wire.

In a game with a number of contentious high tackle rulings, the Welsh withstood a superb comeback from the Australians, who had strong local support thanks to their numerous connections with Japanese club sides.

"I'm pretty happy with the character we showed, particularly in the second half", said Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones. I obviously understand that. As a rugby player I am embarrassed. "The slow-mo makes it look like anything".

"That there to me looks offside".

"They probably had a few more in the second half and slowed us down but credit to our back row for doing a job on them".

World Rugby announced a clampdown on high tackles before the World Cup, devising a new protocol to help referees decide whether to issue punishments. "I guess I got to use my feet and not come straight anymore".

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"It was pretty amusing because I thought I'd seen that [Patchell] tackle before", Cheika said.

"[Patchell] has used poor tackle technique and fallen back". I don't know anymore. It could have been Reece Hodge, I'm not sure.

The Wallabies had seen Reece Hodge suspended for three matches in the build-up to playing Wales, having been cited for a unsafe tackle against Fiji.

"I'm not sure. But when our guy makes that tackle and has the high-tackle framework in his head, he gets suspended".

"We were looking good in the scrum tonight - got penalised", he growled.

"As a rugby player, a former player, I am embarrassed here". The referees are anxious about making the wrong decisions and they're becoming ultra cautious about everything, and it's not inviting to the fans. The referees all seem spooked and everyone is anxious, except the players.

"Then it's affecting everything else on the field as well, decisions on all types of insane stuff". I think he may have lifted his arm to the Wales player's chest, but is that illegal? "It's affecting everything else on the field".

"I've been playing like that for my whole career", he said. A year ago he suffered two concussions in quick succession from making tackles.

Poite also penalised Hooper for a late tackle on No.10 Dan Biggar, who was concussed in the incident and played no further role in the game.

"The fact we can go back and check a ball carry and [Wallabies captain] Michael Hooper makes a very good point, what is the ball carrier supposed to do?" "He's been criticized a lot about his defense in the past and we have changed a lot about the way he defends. Those sort of things changes momentum".

"If it is going to be a factor in the game, we have to deal with it". "But this was a big match to come on early and get a win, and he'll take a lot of confidence from that".

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