Australia focused on RWC wins not bonus points

Michael Cheika has not been contacted by the RFU about replacing Stuart Lancaster

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is adamant that the Wallabies are focused on
winning matches rather than a quest for bonus points in the Rugby World Cup
Pool of Death.

Australia kicked off their Rugby World Cup campaign with a 28-13 victory over
Fiji but missed out on a bonus point awarded to teams that score four tries
or more.

The Wallabies scored three tries through David Pocock (2) and Sekope Kepu to
Fiji’s one at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

Only two teams qualify for the quarter-finals from each of the four groups.
Pool A rivals England and Wales have already bagged bonus points after their
winning displays. But Cheika said it was not important that twice world champions
Australia had missed out on the extras against Fiji.

“No, not really,” said a straight-faced Cheika, who has 15 seasons
of top club coaching behind him, notably leading Irish province Leinster to
European Cup glory in 2009.

“I’m new to test footy, right, and international rugby, but for me, winning
a Test match, that’s all you need to do and then move on to the next one.

“I’m not counting points, I just want to win one game and then go on to
the next game and try and win that.”

Wallaby fly-half Bernard Foley spent most of the first-half spurning kickable
penalties to go for the corner and it paid off handsomely with Pocock’s two
tries.

But with 10 minutes left, Foley opted to kick at goal — a decision Cheika
defended.

“What I do know is that if you lose a game, you’ll be in strife,”
he said.

“It’s a very, very competitive pool, it’s unfortunate that two or three
teams are going to miss out. It’s a very good quality pool for the players that
are in it.

“I preach to my team to be humble, right, and I don’t think coming into
a match and saying ‘yeah we’re going to claim a bonus point off Fiji’, especially
after the way they played the other night.

“England got a bonus point (against Fiji) in the very last minute… and
they’re a top, top team, probably the favourites in our pool because they’re
the home side.”

Cheika added his team had been happy to finally get some game time after being
cooped up in Bath, largely under the radar.

“We’re very pleased to have a win in our first game,” he said. “The
boys have been waiting to play for a fair while and I think there was quite
a good level of physicality, the lads had to do a lot of work.

“I think because we hadn’t played a lot of rugby recently, that was always
something we had to come to terms with early in the competition.”

The coach added he would be demanding consistent performances from his team
to silence their detractors, with the next match coming against Uruguay in Birmingham
on Sunday.

“That’s been the opinion about us for a while and it’s up to us to try
to change that via consistent performances,” he said.

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