Rugby World Cup
Michael Cheika unimpressed by leaked tactics but won't use it as an excuse
November 1, 2015
New Zealand 34-17 Australia (Australia only)

An unimpressed Michael Cheika has slammed the "disingenuous" motives of an English photographer who revealed the Wallabies' tactics on the eve of the Rugby World Cup final.

But the coach insists there's no use crying over the incident and, while joking that he'll now cancel his subscriptions to the English newspaper responsible, said it shouldn't overshadow the All Blacks' historic achievements.

The Wallabies camp was fuming on the eve of the match when photographs taken during the team's captain's run zoomed in on sheets of paper being held by Cheika and scrum guru Mario Ledesma.

© Stu Forster/Getty Images

The information gleaned was hardly explosive - with key points noting Dan Carter's preference of running left to right, the need to pressure Kieran Read from the kick off and to expose wingers Nehe Milner-Skudder and Julian Savea with high balls. But Cheika was left disappointed nonetheless, having invited the media in to watch their final training session before the biggest match of his coaching career.

Cheika: A painful game to lose

"What was in [the tactics], it's no biggie. It's not like there were any super tactics or anything like that," Cheika said. "It is a little bit disingenuous, you let that situation in where you open yourself up and someone focuses on that.

"But that's the way it goes. What do you do? There's nothing to cry about.

"I think I'll cancel my subscription to The Daily Mail. I don't even know if I've got one."

It wasn't the only spying controversy to hit the Wallabies during the World Cup, with a photographer reportedly chased from the team's training base in Bath before the tournament kicked off.

Cheika and the coaching staff were also left frustrated after they were denied a chance to sing the national anthem with the team before the match.

"We were probably a little bit disappointed tonight because we [the coaches] wanted to go out and sing the national anthem with our team," Cheika said. "But World Rugby wouldn't let us. We were probably disappointed about that. But it's neither here nor there if that's the way it is. We've really enjoyed it, we've tried to improve over the whole tournament. It came pretty quick for us as a group and we tried to make the best of it as we could."


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