CHEIKA C SAYS ENGLAND HOLD NO FEAR AT R WC
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.