Michael Cheika blasts rugby stoppages
March 25, 2013
The Waratahs bounced back to beat the Blues (video available only in Australia)
New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika lashed out at meaningless stoppages in play after his side was forced to take a drinks break during their 30-27 Super Rugby win over the Blues on Sunday.
With the temperature touching 30C at Allianz Stadium, the match-day doctor used his discretion to order a 30-second timeout immediately after a Waratahs penalty goal had levelled the score at 10-all in the 22nd-minute. Waratahs captain Dave Dennis was heard telling Argentine referee Francesco Pastrana his team wanted to play on, but the skipper was told the break was mandatory. The Blues scored two soft tries immediately upon the resumption, much to the chagrin of Cheika.
"We didn't want the game to stop," Cheika said. "We've trained hard and we want to test ourselves. I wasn't real happy about it. They asked us before the game and we said we're not into it. Like, it's not that hot really. Then next thing I get a buzz saying we're having a break. We're having a rest. It's not a big deal at the end of the day but for me the game is 40 minutes [each half]; go hard and see what happens. Sometimes that benefits you and sometimes it's against you. If it was 40 degrees and piping it, I'd understand."
Cheika, maeanwhile, said that excess "time wasting" in rugby was ripping off paying fans.
"The game is stopping far too much as it is," he said. "The time spent at scrums - last week and this week - is ridiculous. Let's just get set and go in. I feel for the crowd a little bit on those things. Last week there was 22 minutes lost on scrum introductions. That's time when we could be playing. Especially when you're behind, you want to catch up."
"The loudest cheer at a rugby game, away from social media gimmicks, pumping music and pyrotechnics will always be for a try." Tom Hamilton on the Twickenham atmosphere
"The only thing that will stop this England team from becoming a great team is themselves. They need to ask themselves 'what can we be?'" The Phil Vickery column
The latest Monday Maul looks at the hectic final weekend, the Lions hangover, the superb Mike Brown and the 'selfie'
"At the crux of this England team is a lack of fear, they are not afraid to throw playbooks out of the window." Tom Hamilton reports from Twickenham