As courageous as Australia’s defensive effort was to topple Wales, coach Michael Cheika doesn’t want to have to see it again for the rest of the Rugby World Cup.
The Wallabies have been universally praised for their defensive prowess in the 15-6 victory over Wales – which included a 10-minute period where they held firm on their own tryline.
The fact they did so with 13 men – having lost half Will Genia and lock Dean Mumm to the sin bin within three minutes of each other – was what made the defence so courageous.
But it’s just that which upset Cheika, a stickler for discipline who knows the margins of victory will become increasingly tighter as the tournament goes on.
“The strength of the game is discipline,” he said.
“You can’t be playing the game 13 against 15.
“We’re lucky we got away with it.
“I don’t think we were poorly disciplined that game.
“We just went through a little trot there where we made a few errors back to back and, the way the game was going, we paid the penalty.”
Genia made the admission he’d repeat his action of tackling his opposite, Wales halfback Gareth Davies, despite being in an offside position so as to deny a try-scoring opportunity.
“He was very apologetic afterwards to me, but I said to him ‘don’t worry’,” Cheika said.
“What could you do? (Davies) was sort of running straight at (Genia) so he almost wants the penalty.”
But Cheika had no problem with Genia’s action – it was the penalty conceded by Adam Ashley-Cooper in the preceding ruck, allowing Davies’ quick tap and go, which made his blood boil.
“That was dumb by Adam and he knows it,” Cheika said.
“It’s not like him at all. He’s on to it (and) he’s already brought it up with me.”