Cheika brushes off ‘disingenuous’ White’s barbs

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has brushed off a barrage of barbs from Sharks boss Jake White saying that he considers the attention “a compliment” from someone who is “disingenuous”.

The Waratahs lost 32-10 to Sharks in Durban on Saturday and was almost ridiculed by White in the after match press conference when he said that he used Cheika’s comments in the run up to the clash as motivation for his players.

White has made jokes about having to check whether Cheika might have broken a door in the coaching booth after the Waratahs mentor accidentally broke a pane of glass when his team lost to the Brumbies in Canberra.

When asked about Cheika’s explanation of how the game went after the match White said, “Whatever Michael Cheika says, we believe, don’t we.”

Cheika said that he was surprised to read White’s comments in the media after he had met with White after the match.

“I didn’t read them in detail but it wouldn’t hurt me to be criticised by someone who’s disingenuous, so it doesn’t hurt me,” he said.

“If he felt that way, he could have said it to me when he saw me before the press conference and shook my hand.”

“And there’s a track record there, isn’t there? I would almost see it as a compliment to be criticised by someone like that.”

White’s Sharks have a six point lead at the top of the Super Rugby standings with a bye in the coming week while the Waratah fly to Cape Town where they will face the struggling Stormers at home.

The Stormers only victory was at home in Cape Town so the Waratahs will have to deliver on the weekend even though key players Wycliff Palu, Israel Folau and Kurtley Beale are in doubt and Rob Horne is suspended.

Beale is suffering from whiplash after a dangerous tackle from Steyn who was given an off field yellow card for the incident.

Folau started running again on Monday after he picked up a throat injury in the Tahs victory over the Rebels.

Cheika said that he was confident that both Folau and Beale would play this weekend but that he would make a final call on Tuesday.

“We’ll see how he pulls up from recovery and a bit of a run (on Monday),” the coach told Sydney Morning Herald.

“I wouldn’t think he was at doubt at this stage.”

Cheika also said that they would would go back to the basics as they look to turn things around against the Stormers.

“Our attacking ruck was poor (against the Sharks),” he said.

“The way we play, if that’s not done properly it’s hard to get a flow on. Even when we carried and got go-forward, often the ball was delivered with a bit of a bobble.

“If we clean that bit up, get a little bit more consistent in that area and the game is a different set-up with a different score. We know we can do it, so it’s just a matter of getting back onto it this week.”

The Waratahs scrum was penalised on several occassions against the Sharks and appeared to fall victim to some inconsistency from referee Mike Fraser, including when NSW tighthead Paddy Ryan was penalised for standing up and Sharks prop Jannie du Plessis was not.

“When we’re scrumming in our preparation we’re doing really well, we’re generating a lot of power,” he said.

“So maybe there’s a perception there, but we’ll keep working at it.”

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