Wallabies coach Michel Cheika expects his critics to put the boot in after his side were swept by an England side hailed for their toughness and bravery by their own coach.
England clinched the first three-game clean sweep of a visiting side over the Wallabies on Australian soil for 45 years with a 44-40 third Test victory in front of a ground record crowd of 44,063 at Sydney’s Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
Australia scored five tries to four, and fullback Israel Folau and recalled inside centre Matt Toomua generated greater creativity afer the side’s flat attacking performance last weekend.
However, they were outdone by a more clinical England side, whose inside centre, Owen Farrell, booted nine out of ten shots for a 24-point haul and 66 points in the series.
England coach Eddie Jones described Farrell’s goalkicking as “solar system class” and praised the work done with him by kicking coach and legendary former England five-eighth Jonny Wilkinson.
Cheika, whose side has now lost four straight Tests, lamented inaccuracies in his team’s play.
“I know there will be plenty of people looking to put the boot in, and I’m ready for that,” Cheika said.
“But I’ll always get back up and as a team we’ll come back and try and play that style of footy.’
“The people I feel for most are our supporters. We’ve let them down.”
While lauding his side, former Wallabies coach Jones stressed his new team hadn’t been at their best.
“We had a number of players sub par, it was a fantastic effort from the squad to beat a very good and determined Australian side,” Jones said.
“Our setpiece gave us a significant advantage in the second half and just pleased with the general attitude of the players.
“To win the end of that game was a superb effort.
“They showed fitness, they showed toughness, they were brave.
Cheika said the AC joint injury that forced lock Rob Simmons off at halftime and gave Adam Coleman a Test debut, was at the high end of the range, but wasn’t sure how long the Reds forward would be sidelined for.
He said he wasn’t happy with the refereeing through the series and was disappointed Welsh official Nigel Owens gave a “50-50” ruling when the ball from an England kick hit the wire of the overhead camera tracking the game.