Cheika flags his changes
MICHAEL Cheika claimed it would not be a risk to start flankers Michael Hooper and David Pocock together as the Wallabies coach said he will likely tinker with his side for this weekend’s clash against Argentina in Mendoza.
The Wallabies fly out to South America today still buoyant after their 24- 20 victory over the Springboks in game two of The Rugby Championship.
Tevita Kuridrani scored a post- siren try at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane on Saturday night to help claim the Nelson Mandela Challenge Plate for the first time since 2012.
The win was in no small part because of the impact of the Wallabies bench in the second half, including Pocock.
The Brumbies No. 7 replaced No. 8 Scott Higginbotham and was outstanding in his first Test since 2012.
Pocock’s presence led to the Springboks giving away a penalty with 90 seconds remaining, which skipper and hooker
We talked a lot out there. We will watch the tape and learn from that and be able to improve going forward DAVID POCOCK
Stephen Moore elected to use to chase victory, not a draw.
Hooper claimed man- ofthe- match honours for his defensive work and a typically indefatigable night out.
Pocock said his combination with Hooper would only improve.
“I thought it worked well,’’ Pocock said. ‘‘ We talked a lot out there. We will watch the tape and learn from that and be able to improve going forward, that combination.
“Hoops had an outstanding game, he was brilliant. In attack and defence he got through a mountain of work.
‘‘ It was good to get on at the end with him.”
There has long been reticence to play two No. 7s given it reduces line out jumping options.
With Will Skelton in the side – who is also regarded as a non- jumper – the dual open side set- up is not always seen as viable by some.
But Cheika said with the right planning, Hooper and Pocock together can work.
“It’s no risk, they are both quality players,” Cheika said.
Cheika said they had worked out how to win enough ball even with Skelton on the field but a quiet performance from the Waratahs lock, and a top effort from his replacement James Horwill, could open the door for a simpler Hooper- Pocock deployment.
The Wallabies coach said yesterday he would likely make changes to the starting side for Mendoza.
“I would be naive not to, with the long travel and guys coming off the back of a game.”