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Cheika invited referee to post-match press conference to explain decisions

The Wallabies head coach was not happy with some of the calls against his team in defeat to Ireland.

Murray Kinsella reports from Sydney

WALLABIES COACH MICHAEL Cheika says he invited referee Pascal Gaüzère to the post-match press conference after Ireland’s win in Sydney in order to explain his decisions.

Cheika felt the Wallabies were hard done by with some of the key refereeing calls during Ireland’s 20-16 win, a victory that secured series success for Joe Schmidt’s men.

Michael Cheika during the warm up Cheika wasn't happy with the match officials. Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO

Israel Folau was yellow-carded in the first half, while a TMO review on a potential knock-on by Jacob Stockdale in the last action of the game went in Ireland’s favour too.

Cheika insisted he was not attempting to make excuses, but he was clearly livid with the refereeing when he spoke post-match.

“Look, across the series, I’ve been talking about really trying to build a good rapport and have clarity around decisions,” said Cheika. “We want to have a no-excuses mentality, which I really want to maintain.

“You guys have seen what happened out there, you saw the decisions. The only people who can answer the questions are the referees, to be honest, not me. Because I’ll say something and you’ll say it’s a biased view on our direction.

“I invited him [Gaüzère] to come to the presser but he didn’t want to, because I don’t want to be the guy who is like, ‘Oh, he’s a moaner’, because that’s how it always ends up.

“You get portrayed as the moaner and the whinger, so let’s just get on with it and they can answer it themselves, to be honest. I don’t know if that happens in rugby.”

Asked if he had sought clarity on the ruling for Folau’s sin-binning, which has been a divisive issue, Cheika continued to outline his frustration.

“I tried that last week, I went to see the refs,” said Cheika.

Israel Folau and Peter O'Mahony contest a restart Folau was binned for his challenge on Peter O'Mahony. Source: Photosport/Stuart Walmsley/INPHO

“They’d seen us the week before, clips of us tackling players without the ball, obviously after the Adam Coleman one in game one when the try was disallowed.

“The referee that week sent me a bunch of clips saying, ‘These guys have been tackling without the ball’ – three or four clips of us.

“Then after game two, I went back to them with some other things and tried to seek clarity on what entails tackling without the ball because there were four or five tackles on our players without the ball in game two, one which broke Will Genia’s arm, shoulder charge off the back of the ruck when he didn’t have the ball, which the referees agreed at that meeting were fouls.

“So, we tried to get clarity on trying to do it in the back. I don’t think there’s much point in seeking clarity, it’s done now.”

Cheika was also frustrated by the final penalty against the Wallabies, which allowed Johnny Sexton to kick Ireland four points clear heading into the closing minutes of the game.

“I think you guys saw what happened,” said Cheika. “Tolu [Latu] is first there with no ruck formed and he gets a penalty awarded against him. Like I said, that’s the fact.

“The only people who can answer the questions are the referees or the referees’ boss if we’re fair dinkum. I’ll keep it to myself.”

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Murray Kinsella

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