Cheika questions use of Television Match Official

8:15 AM GMT

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has questioned the decision-making process and use of the Television Match Official after an apparent neck roll from England back-rower Chris Robshaw went unpunished at AAMI Park on Saturday night.

Cheika fronted the media on Sunday and immediately shut down suggestions that referee Craig Joubert had cost the Wallabies victory, instead alluding to a failure to capitalise on their overwhelming share of possession and territory.

But he did isolate Robshaw’s tackle on Wallabies scrum-half Nick Phipps during a heated first-half exchange between several players, an incident that saw Australia captain Stephen Moore penalised following a lengthy video review.

“Well like I said, I was just disappointed but I don’t think it cost us the game,” Cheika said of Joubert’s refereeing.

Michael Cheika was nonplussed by what he saw on the pitch at AAMI Park. Scott Barbour/Getty Images

“You know I wasn’t sure about everything that’s been going on around the head, and then Phipps gets wrapped around the head and thrown to the ground and nothing happens.”

Cheika also revealed there had been communication from World Rugby referees boss Alain Rolland around the use of shoulder barging off the ball.

Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley was another to be penalised on the advice of the TMO following a collision with England centre Owen Farrell, despite the Australian being the one who finished face down on the dodgy AAMI Park turf.

Albeit hugely disappointed, the Wallabies arrived in Sydney on Sunday intent on salvaging something from the series in the final Test at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

Samu Kerevi of the Wallabies is tackled. Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

England coach Eddie Jones signalled his side’s intention to complete a series whitewash immediately after their 23-7 triumph in Melbourne, and Cheika was swift to rubbish suggestions there was nothing left for the Wallabies to play for.

The Australian also pointed to the 2014 spring tour – his first Wallabies assignment – and how the defeats from that European journey laid the foundations of their run to the Rugby World Cup final 12 months later.

“This is part of the deal — the hard times will give you the good times,” he said.

“I know in ’14 … when I first came in, we had that tour where we lost a few games and we got so much out of that for the next season.

“And now guys are learning the hardship or the pain of this, and they’ve got to make sure that those scars are going to be healed only by ourselves — by playing better this weekend and for the rest of the season.”

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