Cheika : I am not liked or respected in NZ

Waratahs and Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says that it is obvious he is not liked or respected in New Zealand as the saga of his half time chat with referee Jaco Peyper rumbles on.

Cheika was given a warning by SANZAR earlier in the week for entering the referee’s room at half time during his team’s match against the Blues two weeks ago.

The Waratahs coach was already on a warning after he verbally abused a camera man last year and many have said that SANZAR should have come down on him harder.

In particular Chiefs coach Dave Rennie said that he was dismayed at the leniency SANZAR showed when they decided that Cheika had broken a law of the game – but not breached the code of conduct.

Had SANZAR ruled that Cheika had broken a code of conduct he could have been suspended from rugby and been unable to coach the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.

The Waratahs coach was asked about his half time chat with referee Peyper after the loss to the Stormers and he said,”Obviously I’m not liked over there or not respected”.

“But it won’t change my opinion of them.”

“I respect them for their football. They’ve got good football players, good coaches … and they’ve got a long list of them.”

“That’s the way I’ll always think. I don’t change with the wind.”

Even though Cheika entered the referee’s room which could be seen as cheating or trying to influence the referee the coach said that he had made a conscious effort to behave carefully since his ban was suspended last year.

Cheika’s ban runs out on August the 31st so any further breaches of conduct within that time will see him being suspended from rugby.

“I’ve taken particular care since that day back in South Africa and I wasn’t careless the other day either,” Cheika told AAP.

The Waratahs won the Super Rugby title under Cheika last year but after seven matches this year they are in tenth place so the Peyper chat saga has only added to the coach’s problems.

“I’m here to talk about the game. It’s not even an issue for me. It’s an issue for someone else,” he said at the post match press conference.

“The last thing I’m thinking about is that. We’ve just been pumped at home, I’m not that selfish to think like that.

“You need to ask someone else about that stuff because someone else is driving it.”

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