Cheika instills a ‘no excuses mentality’

By Jim Morton,

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52 Have your say

    It was the refereeing controversy which had Wallabies players bewildered and fans livid but coach Michael Cheika could only praise his team for getting on with the job.

    Many believed South African referee Marius Van Der Westhuizen blighted what was a quality Test match by overturning a scintillating Israel Folau try midway through the second half in Australia’s 18-9 win over Ireland.

    Down 9-8 at the time, the Brisbane crowd was in raptures when the stand-out fullback crossed in the corner after Samu Kerevi forced a midfield turnover with a huge tackle and centre partner Kurtley Beale scythed through on counter-attack.

    But their celebrations were short-lived as Van Der Westhuizen instead ruled a penalty to Ireland after Kiwi TMO Ben Skeen asked him to review a backplay incident while Bernard Foley was lining up the conversion.

    Aggressive Wallabies lock Adam Coleman tackled decoy James Ryan, Ireland’s best on the night, in a crunching ball-and-all hit a couple of phases before.

    Fans from both nations were stunned by the whistle-blower’s decision to deny the five-pointer as former Wallabies captain and commentator Phil Kearns exclaimed “the referee has lost the plot”.

    While Coleman said there was a “fine line” in the decision, Cheika wouldn’t buy into the controversy after the intense war of attrition.

    Instead he focused on the “character” of his players, who too often in the past have failed to cope with debatable calls, and how they kept their composure and continued their momentum.

    “It is what it is,” Chieka said of the decision. “What I really liked was the way we reacted to that because we thought it was a try.

    “I thought (captain) Michael Hooper managed that situation really well and we keep saying we have to build a ‘no excuses mentality’

    “We just have to get on with it and get on to the next moment.

    “We’ve got to get more consistent with that.”

    Coleman owned his mild indiscretion, suckered in by a flat face ball.

    “I probably overstepped the mark there a little bit,” he said.

    “I was more proud of the boys how they responded. We really stuck to our processes and got an outcome.”

    From there, the Australian pack took hold of the match, largely thanks to a dominant scrum that led to a Foley penalty goal for an 11-9 lead.

    Hooper then made a bold call to take a quick tap rather than three points from their next penalty near the line.

    It paid off with David Pocock’s match-sealing try about 10 rugged phases later.

    “It was ballsy,” Hooper admitted. “We wanted to back ourselves and we thought it would change the picture.”

    © AAP 2018
    New South Wales have won the 2018 State of Origin series with an 18-14 win in an absolutely outstanding Game 2 at ANZ Stadium. See how the action unfolded with our NSW vs QLD Origin 2 scores, highlights and blog.

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    The Crowd Says (52)

    • June 10th 2018 @ 8:42am
      Dessy said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:42am | ! Report

      Too funny – I’m fairly certain Cheika would have been rolling out the excuses deluxe if he had of lost.

      Just look at him carry on in the coaches box – he acts like the World’s against him and hence through his actions gives permission for his players to do the same. A blame culture created by the coach.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 8:47am
        System of a Downey Jr said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:47am | ! Report

        Agreed. I remember Cheika talking about a no excuses culture which worked fine while he was winning in 2015. Then it was an avalanche of excuses and blame in press conferences from 2016 onwards. Let’s wait to see the Wallabies lose a game before people start writing articles about Cheika not assigning blame.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 10:19am
          Webby said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:19am | ! Report

          Somehow you still find fault with Cheika. Haters going to hate. What’s next, it was Hannigan’s fault?

          • June 10th 2018 @ 12:52pm
            System of a Downey Jr said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:52pm | ! Report

            What on earth are you talking about? We have two solid years of Cheika exploding into conspiracy theories and anger to look back on as evidence that he more than dabbles in blaming others.

            What I’m saying is it’s very easy for him to be philosophical about a tough call when he ends up winning. Let’s see him do the same when he loses and then I’ll believe the author’s claim that Cheika is instilling a ‘no excuses mentality’. Considering how rough the call was and how poor the refs were most of the game (especially the awful TMO) Cheika would have been within his rights to cry foul and I believe he would have if his team lost. That’s based on past experiences.

            Great win by the Wallabies and the players and coaches should be given plaudits for the best Walabies defence display I’ve seen for a long time. You can engage in a discussion about these things or you just hide behind ‘haters gonna hate’

            • June 10th 2018 @ 5:07pm
              Fionn said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

              Cheika’s perhaps the best and most magnanimous winner of international coaches, but perhaps also the worst loser of all the international coaches.

              • June 10th 2018 @ 5:22pm
                cuw said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:22pm | ! Report

                all the coaches in the World Series 7S are more magnanimous than any test coach for sure!!!

                there is a different level of respect among everyone – perhaps becoz they travel and stay at same places 10 times per year.

              • June 10th 2018 @ 5:31pm
                System of a Downey Jr said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:31pm | ! Report

                Good call. He’s without doubt the worst loser in international rugby. But he is a gracious winner who doesn’t get too carried away. And in regards to non-rugby issues I thought he dealt with the recent Folau tweet storm in a clear, thoughtful way.

                I’d say Joe Schmidt is up there as magnanimous winners.

              • June 12th 2018 @ 10:21pm
                PiratesRugby said | June 12th 2018 @ 10:21pm | ! Report

                I think the tribe has spoken.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 11:03am
        ethan said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:03am | ! Report

        If he’s trying to change his ways I’m all for it. But yes, the true test will come when we lose.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 10th 2018 @ 9:16am
      KiwiHaydn said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:16am | ! Report

      Cheika taking responsibility? Urging players to accept referee’s calls and move on?? What’s going on?!

      • June 10th 2018 @ 12:50pm
        Nobody said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:50pm | ! Report

        The Wallabies won. Had they lost you might have heard him sing a different tune.

      • Roar Guru

        June 11th 2018 @ 4:55am
        taylorman said | June 11th 2018 @ 4:55am | ! Report

        Yes we’ll have to see what he does when and if they lose. No excuses is fine after a win…I mean, there arent any required. When he walks the walk we’ll believe him. Starts at the top.

    • Roar Rookie

      June 10th 2018 @ 10:02am
      Paulo said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:02am | ! Report

      “Aggressive Wallabies lock Adam Coleman tackled decoy James Ryan, Ireland’s best on the night, in a crunching ball-and-all hit a couple of phases before.”

      This is the problem, it was not Ball-and-all, the Irish player was tackled on suspicion, cant do that and then hold down for a rather long period in the scheme of the Irish attack. Kafer agreed with the call too,so not as controversial as some would want to spin. Disappointing and unfortunate a try was turned over because of it, but that cant be considered when deciding if it is foul play or not. Put the jerseys the other way around, and see who that would feel.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 10:06am
        Derm McCrum said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:06am | ! Report

        That’s far too sensible an observation, Paulo.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 10:37am
        PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:37am | ! Report

        actually very controversial if it was a couple of phases before.

        You can’t go back and review and overturn a try more than 2 phases back.

        Also you see decoy runners tackled all the time and no penalty.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 10:45am
          Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:45am | ! Report

          Isn’t that for reviewing whether to award the try? Eg, knock on, forward pass etc.

          I think they can review foul play as far back as they want.

          It was a clear penalty, IMO. Yes, decoy runners do get tackled, but generally the tackler doesn’t follow through as much and he exacerbated it by holding him down for ages. No malice, not dangerous, just unfortunate.

          • June 10th 2018 @ 11:06am
            ethan said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:06am | ! Report

            Yep, you can review foul play many phases back. The question however, is every penalty classified as “foul play”? If so, they made the right call. If only dangerous play is “foul play” however, they made the wrong call. I genuinely don’t know the answer.

            • June 10th 2018 @ 11:23am
              Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:23am | ! Report

              Foul play presumably means anything in Law 9 which includes obstruction off the ball. I think that’s too wide and they should limit that TMO review provision to dangerous play only.

              Having said that, tackling without the ball is actually included in the dangerous play provisions of law 9, so they’d have to figure out some way of wording the protocol to only cover play that is actually dangerous – the tackle last night wasn’t remotely so.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 10:48am
          Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

          Yeah, here we go – from the TMO protocols

          “iv – Where match officials believe an infringement may have occurred leading to a try or
          in preventing a try providing that the potential infringement has occurred no more
          than two phases (rucks or mauls) after the potential infringement and before the
          ball has been grounded in in-goal

          v – Where match officials believe foul play may have occurred”

          So the foul play review isn’t subject to the two phase limitation.

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 11:05am
            rebel said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

            Watching, I though it was weird they went back multiple phases, thought there must have been something different for foul play.
            If only I had been a ref in the past I would have known this.

            • Roar Guru

              June 10th 2018 @ 11:11am
              PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:11am | ! Report

              well only a ref that was high enough that you got to use video reviews.

              • Roar Guru

                June 10th 2018 @ 11:42am
                rebel said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:42am | ! Report

                Not really, if I had been a ref I would make sure I knew the law before openly saying that others had got it wrong, knowing it’s a thankless job that most couch potatoes dont appreciate.
                The criticism they get is counter productive, without them we don’t have a game. I am yet to see anyone write a comprehensive list complaining where their side benefitted. Thing is in any given match fans from both sides could write a list.
                They make mistakes just as players and coaches do, however they don’t often get the credit that others do when they get it right.
                Well thats just my opinion having not been a ref, maybe it would be different if I had.

              • Roar Guru

                June 10th 2018 @ 12:51pm
                PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:51pm | ! Report

                yes I am at fault for not checking the protocols

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 11:10am
            PeterK said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:10am | ! Report

            ok , but foul play that doesn’t effect the try nor dangerous should not be used to over turn a try.

            Foul play is too wide, it includes holding back players and tackling without the ball and so on, the TMO didn’t bother calling out many others that occured, Pocock held down constantly and ignored.

            You could always go back far enough to find a decoy runner tackled that wasn’t penalised and never award any try.

            No common sense used.

            • June 10th 2018 @ 11:19am
              Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:19am | ! Report

              Yeah, they should probably limit that to dangerous foul play. A tackle off the ball like that isn’t really any worse than an offside or incorrect ruck entry and shouldn’t be sufficient to overturn a fair try.

              • Roar Rookie

                June 10th 2018 @ 12:18pm
                Paulo said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:18pm | ! Report

                If they want to limit Foul play to dangerous play, then fine, however, given what Coleman did currently falls under foul play, the Ref had to rule it that way. He even said so to Hooper, when Hooper questioned it, he said its foul play, it has to go back. “It is what it is.”
                I think the ref could see the situation, unfortunately he can’t consciously pick and choose what to apply the current rules for when it is clear, tackling off the ball and holding down is foul play.It is what it is.

                Having an additional element of interpretation as to whether a tackle off the ball is dangerous or not wouldn’t work in my view. We need more black and white rules, and less interpretive ones. Black and white should reduce this endless back and forth post game about rulings as how we interpret things will always be flavored towards your side. Tackling someone off the ball has potential to be very dangerous, so should stay as Foul play, or dangerous play, or however you want to call it.

              • June 10th 2018 @ 12:22pm
                Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:22pm | ! Report

                Yeah, once the TMO reviewed it the ref had to penalise it. It’s not his fault, but the protocol is a bit too wide reaching IMO. That tackle was no more dangerous than any other legal tackle and that sort of review should only be for actual dangerous play.

            • Roar Rookie

              June 11th 2018 @ 12:55pm
              piru said | June 11th 2018 @ 12:55pm | ! Report

              It doesn’t matter if it affected the try – foul play occurred and if it had been penalised at the time play would have stopped – hence no try.

              Not saying I agree with the call, but you can’t simultaneously say ‘that’s foul play’ and ‘it didn’t effect anyone so keep going’.

          • June 10th 2018 @ 5:19pm
            cuw said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:19pm | ! Report

            @ JERRY

            didnot see the match – but im wondering about this discussion.

            i wonder if u saw BLUES v CRUSDAERS ?

            i think Parsons copped a head tackle and then the TMO brought it upto notice of ref ( was it Jackson?)

            ref said there is nothing i can do becoz we have already played a lineout.

            but Parsons was taken off immediately for HIA.

            so i’m wondering – this situation in this test match is all becoz a try was scored?

            • June 10th 2018 @ 5:54pm
              Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 5:54pm | ! Report

              Maybe there’s some guidelines not included in the protocol that say they can’t review anything further back than the last break in play (they don’t seem to do so), I dunno.

            • June 10th 2018 @ 9:08pm
              Morsie said | June 10th 2018 @ 9:08pm | ! Report

              Moody’s elbow to Beale’s throat……..

              • Roar Rookie

                June 11th 2018 @ 8:39am
                Paulo said | June 11th 2018 @ 8:39am | ! Report

                Rose not letting Jack on the door…
                …what are we doing?

      • June 10th 2018 @ 8:17pm
        Lewis said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:17pm | ! Report

        14th minute Rodda was running as a decoy, next to the ball carrier that received the pass, and was taken by the Irish without the ball. The tackler went to ground but held on tight around his legs like an Irish terrier for about 5 seconds until the ball had gone and a ruck had formed elsewhere. Unsurprisingly play continued and no penalty was given against Australia.

        If they are going to start handling out penalties for so called “foul” play, then they need to be consistent. Last night’s refereeing was not consistent at all for most the game and that penalty for the Coleman tackle without the ball is the type of thing that turns people away from following Rugby. Unbelievably the tackle took place directly in front of Marius and was allowed to play on, 5 further rucks then took place until the ball was turned over and that then lead to the try, yet somehow the ref then disallowed the try based on an infringement he saw and initially deemed a non event by allowing play to continue.

        There were other terrible calls by the refs last night also, including the penalty against either Hooper or Pocock (Marius changed his mind it seemed as to who infringed over the next 90 seconds when questioned by Pocock) in front of the post which gifted the Irish their second penalty goal. Neither did anything wrong yet the ref saw otherwise.

        Then there was the 38 minute clearly backward pass that landed and bounced forward leading to a Wallabies’ break down field that was called back.

        I can go on. It’s just ridiculous how these professional refs, a team of them, can be so appalling sometimes and, unfortunately it seems, more and more often.

        • Roar Rookie

          June 11th 2018 @ 8:41am
          Paulo said | June 11th 2018 @ 8:41am | ! Report

          And always against your team too, they never get the rub of the green.

    • June 10th 2018 @ 11:38am
      Darth Vader said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:38am | ! Report

      There’s is no way that is ‘foul play’. The role of the decoy runner is to attract that tackler so that the actual target is free. He actively engages the tackler and expects to get tackled. This is a completely different scenario to someone being tackled when they are not expecting it, which is foul play.

      The call was an atrocious one, much like the last try disallowed from the Irish. It’s these baffling descisions that turn away the fair weather fan and ruin what was otherwise an enthralling game.

      • Roar Guru

        June 10th 2018 @ 11:48am
        rebel said | June 10th 2018 @ 11:48am | ! Report

        Frustrating as it is, I was at the time, the call was correct according the the laws.
        We shouldn’t be shooting the messenger.
        Foul play should be checked and tackling someone witout the ball falls into this category. I agree this one was on the softer side, but it’s a grey area because there are plenty of cases where injuroes can occur. Happy for discretion to be used but even that isn’t going to please everyone as seen in the AB match last night.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 12:04pm
          Darth Vader said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:04pm | ! Report

          I have to disagree. This is about the spirit of the law not the letter of the law. No doubt that it’s in there but when written te dummy runner would not have been thought about. I could just as easily use dummy runner as a reason to give a penalty for obstruction. This doe t happen though because the tackler initiates the contact. The same applies for the guy being tackled without the ball, he wants that to happen.

          • Roar Guru

            June 10th 2018 @ 12:33pm
            rebel said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:33pm | ! Report

            I said they can use discretion, but would everyone then be happy?
            It’s a grey area, refs seldom win with these situations, does give us mugs something to discuss after the game though.

          • June 10th 2018 @ 7:31pm
            jacko said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:31pm | ! Report

            Ok Darth so what happens if the team without the ball just tackles every player on the opposition team??? No penalty??/No foul play???? It was a tackle of a player not in possession and that is illegal…Also it was not the only 1 he did in this match

            • June 11th 2018 @ 12:58am
              In Brief said | June 11th 2018 @ 12:58am | ! Report

              No ship Sherlock – the point is decoy runners DO get tackled all the time with no penalty. The issue is that on this one occasion it was penalised.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 12:10pm
        Charlie Turner said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:10pm | ! Report

        I agree DV ther was nothing malicious, dangerous or cynical about the incident for it to be classified as foul play. A decoy run that does not engage the defence is pointless. If it’s any consolation the referring in the NRL has been shambolic at times this year, it seems like both codes are striving towards a pedants paradise.

        • June 10th 2018 @ 6:15pm
          Jerry said | June 10th 2018 @ 6:15pm | ! Report

          A tackle without the ball is under Law 9 foul play. It’s black and white.

          • June 11th 2018 @ 1:02am
            In Brief said | June 11th 2018 @ 1:02am | ! Report

            Most rucks multiple players without the ball get tackled. Most matches multiple decoy runners get tackled. Should they all be penalties?

    • June 10th 2018 @ 12:38pm
      Worlds Biggest said | June 10th 2018 @ 12:38pm | ! Report

      I thought it was a poor call, what exactly did Coleman do to Ryan apart from carrying on longer in the tackle ? Had the roles been reversed I would say Ireland were robbed of a try. The officials were poor all night and blighted a quality & absorbing game.

      Stockdale was very unlucky to be penalised on his line, I couldn’t see a penalty there at all.
      Anyways let’s hope the Melbourne crew do a lot better job next week.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 2:09pm
        Reverse Wheel said | June 10th 2018 @ 2:09pm | ! Report

        The ref said the ruck had formed so he wasn’t entitled to get up and use his hands to play the ball, even though he was the tackled player.

        • June 11th 2018 @ 1:05am
          In brief said | June 11th 2018 @ 1:05am | ! Report

          From memory both players got the ball at the same time so it was like a strip.

      • June 10th 2018 @ 7:36pm
        Jacko said | June 10th 2018 @ 7:36pm | ! Report

        Worlds…what do you want tho….Is it ok for EVERY opposition player to tackle someone without the Ball??? What if all the opposition players tackled all players within passing distance??? I loved Bullrush where anyone tackled anyone but not test rugby as it would turn into kaos

    • June 10th 2018 @ 8:10pm
      Worlds Biggest said | June 10th 2018 @ 8:10pm | ! Report

      Jacko it had no baring on the try what so ever, that is my issue. Sure Coleman carried on a bit however to call back a try for imo a marginal infringement is wrong. In saying that, I’m sure Cheika will be telling Coleman to reign in the niggly stuff as he does push the boundaries.

      • Roar Rookie

        June 11th 2018 @ 8:45am
        Paulo said | June 11th 2018 @ 8:45am | ! Report

        Unfortunately the try is irrelevant. Once they deemed it foul play they had to go back. irrespective of what had happened regarding the try. The issue here is not the try being scored and then overturned, although that is what is sparking the outrage. The actual issue is whether it was worthy of foul play or not. Focus on that aspect and discussion.

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