England worthy winners but Australia coach Michael Cheika rages at TMO

Duncan Bech 25/11/2018
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England were declared worthy winners by Michael Cheika but the Australia coach raged at yet another controversial refereeing decision at Twickenham this autumn.

Eddie Jones’ men were emphatic 37-18 winners in the concluding autumn international after second-half tries from Elliot Daly, Joe Cokanasiga and Owen Farrell swept them out of sight.

But once more the spotlight fell on the officiating after referee Jaco Peyper declined to punish Farrell for a shoulder-led tackle on Izack Rodda as he stopped the onrushing Wallabies lock on the stroke of half-time.

Peyper declined to use the TMO for a challenge that Sir Clive Woodward said should have been a penalty try – an outcome which would have thrust Australia 17-13 ahead with a conversion to come.

Farrell escaped sanction for a similar tackle in the autumn opener against South Africa, while a week later England were denied victory against New Zealand when a late try was ruled out by the TMO.

“I think it was a penalty try, yeah. I do. I want to make it clear that England were the better team. They deserved to win and had us under pressure for many minutes of the game,” Cheika said.

Elliot Daly streaks away for his try against the Wallabies.

Elliot Daly streaks away for his try against the Wallabies.

“But the justification that Rodda tried to take him on with his shoulder is ludicrous – that’s what the referee said. That’s what you do when you carry the ball.

“I went to the referees’ meeting they had here before the Wales game at the start of the autumn and they referred back to the Owen Farrell tackle against South Africa.

“At the meeting Angus Gardiner (referee of England v South Africa) was hung out to dry when it was said in front of all the coaches that that should categorically have been a penalty. And if that’s a penalty, this is three penalties.

“We had three disallowed tries and not one referral. Maybe we need to move Australia up to the northern hemisphere.”

Jones adopted the same line he has used throughout the autumn when asked for his view on the officiating of Farrell’s tackle by refusing to criticise the officials.

“You guys love the TMO, I don’t. I just accept whatever decision the TMO makes and that is the end of it,” Jones said.

“We have had some good decisions, we have had some bad decisions, we just accept them.”

“Speak to Michael about it. I’m sure he’ll talk about it. Why talk to me about Michael Cheika?”

Cokanasiga ran in England’s third try as the poorest Australia team seen at Twickenham for some time began to fall apart and the 21-year-old Bath powerhouse almost added a second with a brilliant catch and run.

Jones added: “Joe’s just starting. He’s still got his training pants on. Wait until he gets proper pants. He’ll be able to play a bit. He’ll definitely get them. He’s going shopping now.”

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Canada beat Hong Kong to qualify for 2019 Rugby World Cup

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Canada defeated Hong Kong 27-10 in Marseille to claim the 20th and final place at the Rugby World Cup in Japan next September.

Glasgow’s DTH Van der Merwe scored two tries with Canada’s other touchdown coming from Ray Barkwill.

Gordon McRorie converted all three tries and added two penalties.

Hong Kong’s try was scored by Conor Hartley with Matthew Rosslee kicking the conversion and a penalty.

The victory places Canada in Pool B with matches against New Zealand, South Africa, Italy and Namibia.

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Wallabies will be desperate to claim England's scalp, says Eddie Jones

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Eddie Jones insists the prize of recalling a precious victory over England when relaxing on the beach will inspire Australia at Twickenham on Saturday.

The Wallabies limp into the final Quilter International reeling from the loss of breakdown master David Pocock to a neck injury and deflated by a run of 10 defeats from their last 14 matches.

Jones, however, believes they have the capacity to summon a season-rescuing performance driven on by a rivalry dating back to 1909 and the knowledge a torrid season is 80 minutes from completion.

“They can go on to the beach and be kings of the southern hemisphere. That’s how it is,” said Jones, who coached Australia from 2001 to 2005.

“This is going to be their best performance of the year, the game they traditionally want to win against the old foe, the Mother Country.

“It’s at Twickenham, it’s their last game of the year, and Will Genia is winning his 100th cap, so they’ll be up for it. All previous form goes out the window and it will be what happens on Saturday.

“They’ll be up for it because it’s England. Australia-England is an old consistent rivalry for Australia and they like nothing better than to beat England at Twickenham.

“Traditional rivalries still exist because I think they still mean something.

“History dictates a lot of what we do. History dictates that Australia-England is a pretty special rugby match. They’ll see this as a chance to put everything right.”

Victory over Michael Cheika’s struggling tourists would complete a successful autumn after South Africa and Japan were dispatched and a precious All Blacks scalp was denied only by a controversial refereeing decision.

Jones has enjoyed complete mastery of the fixture since replacing Stuart Lancaster at the end of 2015, winning all five meetings including a 3-0 series whitewash Down Under in 2016, and knows where Australia can be targeted.

“Bully is not a good word these days. You know what happens when you bully people. If I say bully I’ll get called up before Human Resources,” Jones said.

“We’d certainly like to dominate them. The English set-piece is an important psychological area of the game and we get confidence from dominating that area. And we take confidence away from Australia.”

Jamie George will be a key component of the set-piece assault after ousting Dylan Hartley at hooker for the first time against tier one opposition, the squad’s co-captain forced to settle for a supporting role from the bench.

Owen Farrell leads the team from fly-half in Hartley’s absence and it is hoped that Manu Tuilagi will make his first England appearance for two years after putting a sickening run of injuries behind him.

“Manu’s a game-breaker. He can make something happen out of nothing. When you play against him, it’s normally not very nice!” said Farrell of the rampaging Leicester centre.

“I’m chuffed for him that he’s put himself in a position to play international rugby again. I’m looking forward to seeing him out there.”

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