Thursday 22 February 2018

Michael Cheika brands New Zealand 'disrespectful' after depiction as a clown in national newspaper

Michael Cheika took issue with the front page of the New Zealand Herald's sport section CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES
Michael Cheika took issue with the front page of the New Zealand Herald's sport section CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES

Callum Davis

Australia coach Michael Cheika delivered an extraordinary rant following New Zealand's record-breaking Bledisloe Cup victory in the Rugby Championship.

Cheika was infuriated after the New Zealand Herald featured the Australia coach dressed up like a clown on the front page of their sport section on Saturday morning.

New Zealand beat Cheika's side 37-10  in Auckland on Saturday to become the first top tier nation to win 18 consecutive test matches.

However Cheika slammed Steve Hansen's record-breaking All Blacks in an animated press conference after the game.

“They dressed us up as clowns today. They put our crest on it, so they wouldn’t want our comment (about the record),” Cheika said when asked to comment on the All Blacks' achievement.

“I don’t think they respect our comment, anyway, so we won’t make one.”

Cheika's indignation with the controversial front page was echoed by Wallabies captain, Stephen Moore.

“The way the jersey is portrayed in that picture, for everyone that has pulled that on in the history of the Wallabies, I think that’s pretty disrespectful,” Moore said.

“They won the game so they’re the ones laughing, so what do you do?”

After Cheika conceded the All Blacks had been "outstanding" in Auckland, the Australia coach went on to comment on the accusation of 'bugging' that was made against the Wallabies by All Blacks coach Steve Hansen.

“The thing that got me a bit offside was the accusation (before the first Test in Sydney in August) that we tried to bug them," said Cheika.

“Like, really? Hello. Honestly?That’s what would cause that bad blood for me, that show of lack of respect.

"I wouldn’t even be smart enough to get that stuff organised. I’m too busy working on my own team. They hold onto it, drop it on the day of the game. They don’t need to do that stuff. They’re too good anyway.”

All Blacks coach Steve Hansen attempted to play down the controversy around the illustration of Cheika as a clown.

“The paper I saw, he was dressed up like a clown. You’ve got to be bigger than that, don’t you?” said Hansen.

"It shouldn’t get hijacked tonight. What happened tonight is a really good Test match between two good teams, some great rugby played and it was a good advert for the game.”

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