Were turnovers the Achilles Heel of the Sunshine Girls' world cup campaign?

By July 15, 2019
Leighton Levy

Leighton Levy is a journalist with 28 years’ experience covering crime, entertainment, and sports. He joined the staff at SportsMax.TV as a content editor two years ago and is enjoying the experience of developing sports content and new ideas. At SportsMax.tv he is pursuing his true passion - sports.

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  • Cheika quits as Wallabies coach after World Cup elimination Cheika quits as Wallabies coach after World Cup elimination

    Australia head coach Michael Cheika has stepped down following the Wallabies' Rugby World Cup exit in Japan.

    Cheika confirmed he will not seek re-appointment after Australia were routed 40-16 by England in the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

    The 52-year-old, who guided the Wallabies to the 2015 World Cup final as he was named World Rugby Coach of the Year, bristled at questions over his future in the immediate aftermath of Australia's elimination.

    However, former Waratahs boss Cheika quit on Sunday – ending his five-year stint in charge of Australia.

    "It is no secret I have no relationship with the CEO [Raelene Castle] and not much with the chairman [Cameron Clyne]," Cheika was quoted as saying by the Sydney Morning Herald.

    Cheika replaced Ewen McKenzie in 2014 and he made an immediate impact as the Wallabies reached the 2015 World Cup final – beaten by New Zealand.

    That run to the decider saw Cheika become the first Australia coach to claim World Rugby's top coaching award since Rod Macqueen in 2001.

    But the Wallabies' performances slowly regressed and pressure mounted on heading into this year's World Cup.

    In a statement released by Rugby Australia, Cheika said: "I got asked the question in the press conference about what's going to happen going forward and at the time I wasn't keen to answer, but I always knew the answer in my head.

    "I just wanted to speak to my wife and tell a few people up there [on the Rugby Australia board] about it.

    "I put my chips in earlier in the year - I told people no win, no play.

    "So, I'm the type of man who always goes to back what he says and I knew from the final whistle, but I just wanted to give it that little bit time to cool down, talk to my people and then make it clear."

    New Zealander Dave Rennie – who is in charge of Glasgow Warriors having previously led the Chiefs to two Super Rugby titles – is the favourite to replace Cheika.

  • Rugby World Cup 2019: Cheika would rather win playing Aussie way or no way despite exit Rugby World Cup 2019: Cheika would rather win playing Aussie way or no way despite exit

    Wallabies head coach Michael Cheika insisted he would rather win playing the Australia way or no way after the country's Rugby World Cup elimination.

    Australia crashed out of the World Cup quarter-finals following a 40-16 drubbing at the hands of rivals England in Oita on Saturday.

    Despite a bright start, the Wallabies were no match for Eddie Jones' England as Cheika's tactics were brought into question in the aftermath.

    Australia adopted a ball-in-hand approach during the tournament in Japan and Cheika was in a defiant mood amid doubts over his future.

    "Listen, that's the way we play footy, I'm not going to go to a kick-and-defend game. Call me naive but that's not what I'm going to do," Cheika said.

    "I'd rather win it our way or no way. That's the way Aussies want us to play."

    Cheika, who led Australia to the 2015 World Cup final, added: "We scored some good tries, we were fit and as tends to happen to us sometimes, over the last few years and sometimes we encounter intercepts.

    "Dropped ball, if I look back [at] the Fiji game, dropped ball … length of the field. The Wales game, intercepts. Intercepts again [here]. 

    "That's definitely an issue we have to work on, how to close that part of the game down. Because if you put all those intercepts together and it went close to costing us one game, if not two. 

    "I am really happy with the way the team played. Obviously we could have played better, no doubt. But just mastering those types of moments is the next step for the team, going forward for the next few years."

  • Rugby World Cup 2019: England boss Jones offers 'not a lot of sympathy' to Australia Rugby World Cup 2019: England boss Jones offers 'not a lot of sympathy' to Australia

    England boss Eddie Jones offered no sympathy to Australia after his team swamped the Wallabies at the Rugby World Cup.

    A thumping 40-16 victory in Oita carried England through to the semi-finals, with Australian Jones the unabashed architect.

    As his counterpart Michael Cheika just about held back tears, telling one journalist to show some "compassion" when raising the question of his future, Jones was jubilant after his own team's performance.

    But when it came to sympathising with his former Randwick team-mate, there was nothing going.

    "Look, it's tough when you lose a game, particularly at this level of a World Cup," Jones said in a post-match news conference.

    "At this moment, not a lot of sympathy, no, because I'm enjoying the win and I think I'm allowed to enjoy the win.

    "Maybe later in the week I might, so ask me that later in the week."

    England will be deep in preparation for their semi-final task by then, and the impressive performance in their first match of the knock-out stage will count for very little.

    They must not merely reprise the display that ripped Cheika's side apart but take it to the next level, Jones said.

    "We just want to keep challenging ourselves. We haven't played at our best yet," Jones said.

    "The challenge is: how do we get better next week?"

    He said England would expect "probably the toughest game of the tournament" next and predicted a "twinge" that led two-try Jonny May to come off late in the Australia game will not keep him sidelined.

    Jones described Kyle Sinckler as "like a runaway rhino" after his charge to the line for England's third try, and said George Ford was "absolutely spectacular" after coming off the bench in the second half, having been surprisingly left out of the starting line-up.

    England's coach was wary, though, of placing the team on too high a pedestal, even when touching on a favourite pet topic of samurai warriors.

    "It's a do-or-die game today. Everyone understands that, and the best samurais were always guys who had a plan but could adapt, who had a calm head, but they were full of aggression," Jones said.

    "I thought we were pretty much like that today.

    "The challenge is always how we get better, because there's always a better samurai around the corner, so we have to get better."

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