Wallabies coach Michael has hit out at South African referee Jaco Peyper after a try-saving no-arms tackle by Owen Farrell went unpunished in his side’s 37-18 defeat to England.
With the tourists trailing 13-10 on the stroke of halftime, Australia lock Izack Rodda went charging towards the line only to have his progress halted by the English co-captain.
Cheika’s side had to instead settle for a Matt To’omua penalty to level the scores, only to fall apart in the second half as England ran in three tries to chalk up a record sixth successive Test win over Australia.
“We had three disallowed tries, because I’m counting that as one,” Cheika told Sky Sports.
“Not one referred back … maybe we’ve got to move Australia up to the northern hemisphere because the shoulder charge penalty … we went to the referees meeting in the first week after the South Africa game (against England).
“The referees categorically told us that should have been a penalty.
“If that’s a penalty, that one is three penalties.
“The idea the referee would say that our player ran in and shoulder charged the opposition is ludicrous.”
In a week that began with the players battling a sickness bug that spread through the squad, then the loss of star flanker David Pocock, followed by two players being stood down for breaking tour rules, the Wallabies were always facing an uphill battle against their old rivals.
The defeat was the ninth from 13 Tests in 2018 for Cheika’s side, who look a long way off replicating their 2015 World Cup heroics just 10 months from next year’s showpiece in Japan.
The tourists got off to the worst possible start when Dane Haylett-Petty’s attempted second-minute clearance was charged down by Ben Youngs deep inside the Wallabies’ half.
After then conceding a scrum, Australia’s defence was caught napping as Jonny May dived over untouched in the right corner.
The absence of Pocock was stark for the Australia, as they struggled terribly at the breakdown with England controlling the opening 30 minutes.
But the hosts had only two Farrell penalties to show for their superiority following May’s try.
To’omua’s penalty put Australia on the scoreboard, but they failed to cross England’s 22-metre line until a Jack Maddocks break in the 25th minute.
However, the Wallabies managed to grow into the game and looked to have scored a try from their first meaningful attack one minute later.
Samu Kerevi powerful run and pass and found Haylett-Petty who finished superbly.
But just as To’omua lined up to kick the extra two points, Peyper ruled the pass was forward via the big screen and awarded England a scrum.
Buoyed by that feeling of injustice Cheika’s men hit back with a try of the highest class from Israel Folau in the 36th minute.
Running on in support from fullback, Folau, latched onto an inside pass from Samu Kerevi and waltzed past Farrell and Youngs to touch down under the posts.
To add insult to injury, three minutes after the restart Farrell set up Elliot Daly for a long-range try.
Giant winger Joe Cokanasiga crossed for try as did Farrell, who also kicked three penalties and four conversions to put the game well out of Australia’s reach despite a late consolation from Folau in the final minute.