Aussies need to improve for Wales test: Cheika

LONDON • Australia will get better as the World Cup goes on, coach Michael Cheika said as the Wallabies celebrated knocking old rivals England out of the tournament.

But he acknowledged the tournament will not get any easier as Australia next play Wales, describing Wales boss Warren Gatland as a "master coach".

Australia outclassed England in virtually every area on Saturday to guarantee their place in the quarter-finals. The 33-13 score was their biggest winning margin over England at Twickenham.

Fly-half Bernard Foley's 28-point haul was the highest by an Australian against England.

Cheika insisted there is room for improvement before the Wallabies return to Twickenham on Saturday to face Wales to see who tops Pool A, the so-called "Pool of Death".

Australia have beaten Wales 10 times in a row but their coach said another victory was not assured.

"It is just about ourselves at the moment and trying to improve on that," said Cheika. "We are coming up against the master coach next week. I'm not going to change what I do because we won a game."

Cheika, the only coach to have guided sides to victory in the Northern Hemisphere's European Cup and the Southern Hemisphere's Super Rugby, said: "There are a lot of areas we can improve on. The commitment was very good and we will improve on that going forward."

Australia were overpowered at the scrum in losing their last two Tests at Twickenham. But they forced a number of scrum penalties on Saturday and Cheika praised the work of Argentinian forwards coach Mario Ledesma.

"Mario has taught me that the scrum is a very important part of the game. You can dominate one but the next one you can get your pants pulled down," he said. "But you have got to be consistent. Everyone is a threat and we have got to be ready for Wales now."

Double try-scorer Foley is hopeful that one of their best-ever team performances will help build momentum.

"It's definitely up there and we can take a lot of confidence out of that for next week," he said.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2015, with the headline 'Aussies need to improve for Wales test: Cheika'. Subscribe