KEO News Wire

Rugby World Cup 2019: Cheika addressing Australia discipline issues

Michael Cheika has been working on ways for Australia to limit the number of penalties they are conceding at the Rugby World Cup.

The Wallabies comfortably defeated Uruguay 45-10 on Saturday but saw Adam Coleman and Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shown yellow cards for high tackles in the first half.

Michael Hooper and Kurtley Beale were also penalised by referee Mathieu Reynal in Oita, while wing Reece Hodge missed the match due to a three-game ban for a reckless challenge on Peceli Yato in their Pool D opener against Fiji.

Australia conceded 12 penalties to Uruguay’s five at the weekend. Cheika was unwilling to discuss the team’s tackling technique after the match but has looked to address their discipline ahead of Friday’s meeting with Georgia.

“We’re addressing that, we’ve got some ideas on how we can be better at that,” said the Wallabies boss.

“No matter how you see the picture, the penalties are real. So, you’ve got to do something because whether it’s truth or perception, we’re getting the arm raised against us and losing players to the bin for things that we shouldn’t be.

“We’ve just got to lift our standards there, it’s as simple as that.”

Cheika has made 10 changes from the team that defeated Uruguay, with Hooper granted some rest with a place among the replacements.

David Pocock will captain the Wallabies in Shizuoka instead of Hooper and the coach thinks the competition for places is proving extremely beneficial.

Cheika said: “I know that different teams have different strategies in how they want to approach it.

“Some want to go with the same players all the time and maybe rest out. We feel like keeping players competing for spots is working for us, I think we’re playing some good footy.

“Here’s another chance for other guys to do the same, guys that didn’t play in the last game. I think that [Georgia] are a very improved opposition. It’s the first time Australia is ever going to play them, I think.

“We’re lucky that we have someone like David Pocock who can come in for Hooper. We’re trying to get a balance of opportunity, workload and also being ready to win the game. That is the number one priority at the end of the day.” News wire is powered by opta

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