‘We’ll turn them into wins’: Defiant Cheika won’t walk away
Embattled Wallabies coach Michael Cheika maintains he's still the man to take Australia to the World Cup despite falling to a ninth defeat of a miserable 2018.
Cheika's side sank to a 37-18 loss - their joint second biggest against England - in a game where they were largely second-best at Twickenham.
The defeat was Australia's ninth in 13 matches and despite it being a year to forget, Cheika insisted there are still reasons to be optimistic.
"I love footy and you can't just have the good bits," he said.
"Everyone wants the good bits nowadays. 'My phone's busted, throw it away and get a new one.'
"You've got to have the bad bits.
"You don't want to have them but when they occur you've got to live them and own them.
"There's no law that says you can't feel sad or feel pain because that's what's happened to us this year. We've felt sad often and we've felt pain often. We will use that when we come back.
"There's a lot of great people in our team and a lot of great things happening behind the scenes that right now aren't turning themselves into wins but we'll turn them into wins next year."
Despite the loss, the Wallabies had genuine reasons to be aggrieved on the stroke of half-time when they should have been awarded a penalty try that would have given them the lead at the break.
The incident occurred when lock Izack Rodda was rampaging towards the line only to be stopped by Owen Farrell's no-arms tackle.
A similar tackle by Farrell against South Africa three weeks ago has since been deemed illegal at a meeting between coaches and referees bosses, but referee Jaco Peyper claimed Rodda instigated the contact.
"I don't want it to be seen like a carry on but the justification that Rodda tried to take him on with his shoulder is ludicrous," Cheika said.
"That's what the referee said. That's what you do when you carry the ball."
Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper denied that stars Kurtley Beale and Adam Ashley-Cooper being stood down for the match for breaking team rules had affected the squad.
"We're here to play rugby," Hooper said.
"That is something our guys have been doing for a long time now.
"When you get to game day, you are zoned in, you are prepped, ready to go, 81,000 people out there and there is only one thing you are focusing on and thinking about, and not the other stuff."
Abrasive England prop Kyle Sinckler, who was dominant in the scrum against the Wallabies front-row, was quick to make his feelings known towards Hooper, calling the skipper a 'f***king snitch' on the field.
"I didn't hear that," Hooper said.
"There was a bit around the non-try but I enjoyed that, a fun part of the game.
"It is a fairly strong rivalry and you want to be in those games where guys are dying to win and that was one out there today."