Australia coach Michael Cheika has lamented his side’s lack of a clinical edge after going down to a three-point defeat to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium.
The former Leinster supremo believes his team improved their performance on last week’s loss to France in Paris, but lost the game through a lack of composure.
Cheika appeared less than impressed with Ireland’s repeated kicking and some of referee Glen Jackson’s decisions.
“I’m very disappointed, it was different to last week when we got close and would have been lucky to win, this week we got close and were unlucky,” he said.
“Our physicality was up there, we lacked a bit of shape in our back-field, but all in all it was a really improved performance.
“I’m not the type of person to make excuses, it’s still early days in how we want to play and sometimes focusing on that the early intensity of the test match away from home, it doesn’t always work out.
“You often get dissatisfied playing against a rain of bombs, there was a lot of high kicking and you have to work it out.
“The tendency is to secure the ball and kick it back, we caught a lot of those and we were able to get out of that situation.
“We probably lacked that clinical edge in the end.
“I think we decided the game in that we had good opportunities that we didn’t finish off. It’s about having that bit of composure, believing in the shape for a little bit longer and being a bit more patient.”
Cheika praised an Ireland team who have now won seven games on the trot and he reckons the Six Nations champions can pose a threat at next year’s World Cup.
“They’ve got a very clear style, they’re playing well and they back themselves to do it. The results are very good and they’re coming into the World Cup in a good place,” he said, adding he had enjoyed an emotional return to the city he called home for five years.
“It’s hard to really like people and then want to go out and smash them,” he said with a smile. “You want to beat them because you like them and respect them, it was mixed emotions all week and I think that’s the nature of rugby and one of the great things about rugby.
“The end-game, I had my time there and now it’s my opportunity with my country.”