CHEIKA C SAYS ENG­LAND HOLD NO FEAR AT R WC

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JIM TUCKER IN SHIZUOKA

MICHAEL Cheika has swat­ted away his frag­ile 0-6 coach­ing slate against Ed­die Jones by giv­ing his neme­sis the first ver­bal tickle of an epic World Cup week where wind is ev­ery­where.

The quar­ter-fi­nal against Ed­die’s Eng­land in Oita on Satur­day will shape coach­ing fu­tures and the legacy of a host of sea­soned Test foot­ballers.

The pub­lic words were all a bit of a sideshow for Wal­la­bies play­ers who were whisked on to a bus with mil­i­tary pre­ci­sion at 11pm af­ter the below-par win over Ge­or­gia on Fri­day night in or­der to beat the wild ad­vance of Ty­phoon Hag­ibis.

With yes­ter­day’s bul­let train to Tokyo can­celled be­cause of winds in ex­cess of 150km/h, heavy rain and flood­ing, Wal­la­bies man­age­ment synched the bus, on-board meals and re­vised ho­tel book­ings for their camp base at Odawara two and a half hours away.

“It was quite hec­tic, pretty funny look­ing back, and ev­ery­one passed out pretty quick about 3am when I got to bed,” vice-cap­tain Samu Kerevi said.

If only the Wal­la­bies’ at­tack in the clunky 27-8 win was as pre­cise be­cause non-stop rain was no ex­cuse for half the han­dling er­rors in Shizuoka when push­ing the play was to blame.

Be­ing safe in fa­mil­iar training sur­round­ings with resched­uled flights to Oita on Wed­nes­day, rather than to­mor­row, is a win in such a su­per storm and means the Wal­la­bies are not far be­hind Jones’ English, who headed to Oita last Thurs­day.

“We had mu­sic jam­ming, guys watch­ing Net­flix, boys throw­ing jokes, some guys sleep­ing, some guys eat­ing and we put the win­dows down and tried to taste the rain,” Kerevi said. “It was an awe­some trip.

“Mas­sive credit to the staff for or­gan­is­ing it so well be­cause we un­der­stand you can’t tell a ty­phoon to go away.”

Cheika is ready for a stoush and he gave Jones, his friend and ri­val from Rand­wick club days, a re­minder that Eng­land is sup­posed to win.

“Well, I saw he was say­ing that (a clear training stretch with the can­celled game against France) would be an ad­van­tage and the ty­phoon gods were smil­ing on him,” Cheika said.

“So I sup­pose they’d bet­ter win. They’ve had the best prepa­ra­tion, ac­cord­ing to the coach.”

When the 0-6 record was thrown at Cheika, he had a ready an­swer for Jones.

“I don’t re­ally care, to be hon­est be­cause the only rel­e­vance is Satur­day,” he said.

“It’s go­ing to come down to who’s ready on kick-off.”

Full­back Kurt­ley Beale failed an ini­tial head-knock as­sess­ment when he came off against Ge­or­gia but the camp is con­fi­dent the eight-day turn­around gives him a good chance of be­ing fit for Eng­land.

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