Fuming Cheika links All Blacks to clown cartoon

SYDNEY • Australia coach Michael Cheika continued his rant against the All Blacks yesterday, saying he would not back down from his outburst after the New Zealanders' record-setting rugby victory.

And, if a perceived lack of respect by the All Blacks was not bad enough for the aggrieved coach, he faced more negative news with second-rower Dean Mumm cited for foul play during Saturday's Test in Auckland.

Cheika was fuming after the All Blacks won 37-10 and refused to congratulate them for posting a world-record 18th straight victory.

Instead, he launched into a wide-ranging tirade that took aim at the All Blacks, a newspaper cartoon, the referee and the bugging device found in the New Zealand team room before a Test in Sydney earlier this year.

He even complained about not being invited into the New Zealand dressing room for a beer after the game.

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen rejected all accusations and advised Cheika to "stop whining", but the Australia coach was not backing down.

"They asked me to make a comment about their achievement and I said I didn't think they'd care about my comment which I think is the truth," Cheika said when the team returned to Sydney. "I think that's the honest thing to say."

He also continued to link the All Blacks to the New Zealand Herald's pre-game cartoon depicting him as a clown.

"That's their go-to paper, the whole bug thing came out from there, which you know we had policemen in our offices asking our management questions about it," said Australia's coach.

"That's serious stuff to be accusing people of and it's not true. That's their go-to. Nothing happens without that connection so that's my point of view. They don't have to agree with it."

Meanwhile, Cheika had to address the issue of Mumm being cited for an alleged incident "that met the red card threshold for foul play", according to a New Zealand Rugby statement.

"A player must not strike an opponent with the fist or arm, including the elbow, shoulder, head or knee," the statement said.

It added that the incident was in the 53rd minute but did not identify who was supposedly hit.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 24, 2016, with the headline 'Fuming Cheika links All Blacks to clown cartoon'. Print Edition | Subscribe