Rugby Championship: Cheika Says Wallabies Have 'Stacks Of Room For Improvement' After Win Over Springboks

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Australia Wallabies
Australia's Wallabies lock James Horwill (C) reacts with teammates after a controversial try by Tevita Kuridrani was allowed, giving them a win in the last minute against South Africa's Springboks during their Rugby championship match in Brisbane, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Reed

Australia have opened their Rugby Championship league campaign in dramatic fashion after centre Tevita Kuridrani scored a last gasp try to overcome South Africa, 24-20 on Saturday. Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was impressed with the win, but admitted there is a “stack of room for improvement.”

Cheika was quick to praise the Wallabies after winning the enthralling match against Springboks, but stepped back immediately stating that the team still need to learn a lot and improve their game if they want to win the 2015 Rugby World Cup, which kicks off on September. The 48-year-old Cheika also confessed he knew “everything” was not going to flow in Australia’s first game with a “new shape and setup.”

“You can't let three clear opportunities [for tries] go begging in a game. The way we came back to win after the 80th minute is something you have to learn how to do and we'll take a lot of belief from that,” Cheika said as noted by Sportal.com.au.

"We're not naive, we know there's a lot of imperfections in our game. And that's okay, we've just got to keep working and training and preparing as best we can."

Wallabies trailed 20-7 in the first period but clawed their way back into the game to win the team’s Rugby League Championship opener capped by Kuridrani’s after-the-siren try. Veteran Adam Ashley-Cooper scored the game’s first try in the 34th minute mark before Springboks seized control of the match.

However, Australia staged a late rally with Michael Hooper forcing his way over with six minutes remaining in the game. Kuridani completed the comeback giving the Wallabies momentum ahead of their test against Argentina on July 26 in Mendoza.

Meanwhile, Wallabies will miss scrumhalf Will Genia and winger Rob Horne for the team’s Championship test against Argentina at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas after being injured in Australia’s victory over South Africa, the Star reported. Genia was forced to leave the game at halftime because of a right knee injury, while Horne re-injured a calf problem.

Cheika said the two rugby players would not be included in Wallabies’ flight to Argentina on Monday, but was confident they would be available when they face New Zealand on August 8 at ANZ Stadium. Scrumhalf Nic White and winger Nick Cummins have been summoned from the United States as replacements for Genia and Horne.

Australia’s Rugby Championship lineup:

Forwards - James Slipper, Scott Sio, Greg Holmes, Sekope Kepu, Stephen Moore, Tatafu Polota-Nau, James Hanson, Rob Simmons, Will Skelton, James Horwill, Dean Mumm, Scott Fardy, Scott Higginbotham, Ben McCalman, Sean McMahon, Michael Hooper, David Pocock.

Backs - Nick Phipps, Nic White, Bernard Foley, Quade Cooper, Matt Toomua, Matt Giteau, Kurtley Beale, Tevita Kuridrani, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Drew Mitchell, Joe Tomane, Nick Cummins, Israel Folau.

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