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Thread: Michael Cheika is struggling to hold on to what dignity he has left

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    Michael Cheika is struggling to hold on to what dignity he has left

    Cheika is taking another hammering in the UK. This is published in the Nzherald but original from the UK Telegraph

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/rugby/new...ectid=12165007

    It feels like the UK media are doing what they can to try and rid of Cheika before next year's world cup in Japan. If he loses on Saturday hopefully they succeed.


    Michael Cheika is struggling to hold on to what dignity he has left


    23 Nov, 2018 12:09pm 5 minutes to read
    Play VideoThe All Blacks make 11 starting changes while the Auckland Tuatara prepare for their first home game and we catch up with the man paving the way for young kiwi golfers.
    Daily Telegraph UK
    By: Oliver Brown, UK Telegraph
    By Oliver Brown for Telegraph UK

    COMMENT

    Rarely has a coach formed such a glaring study in contrasts as Michael Cheika. While his reputation is often that of a snarling brawler, earned through decades of Vesuvian rages, he can be quite the sophisticate when the mood takes him.

    Stay long enough at his press conferences and one hears him veer quite happily into French or Italian, courtesy of his past stints at Stade Francais and Petrarca, or even into the Arabic that he owes to his Lebanese ancestry.

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    Behind that belligerent façade lies an unusually keen eye for fashion, too, given his background of working for Colette Dinnigan, one of Australia's leading bridal designers. Cheika and wedding dresses: it is, by any stretch, a difficult mental image to conjure.

    Dinnigan has brushed off any suggestion of Cheika's brutishness, describing him, in her experience, as a "gentle giant". But it is his rottweiler persona with which the Wallabies have become more acquainted of late.

    To watch the footage of his half-time unravelling in Salta, Argentina, last month, when he sprayed the Australian players with such invective that one briefly feared for the welfare of captain Michael Hooper, was to catch a glimpse of a man on the edge. That impression was confirmed soon after, as an emotional Cheika spoke, in a quavering voice, about how his team had somehow turned a 31-7 deficit into a 45-34 win.

    "This isn't just a game," he said. "It's personal."


    It usually is personal with Cheika. By degrees, his four-year reign over the Wallabies has hardened into an autocracy, with losses of temper ever more frequent and explosive.

    Ahead of Australia's last match at Twickenham 12 months ago, he appeared to mouth the words "f------ cheats" after a try was disallowed during a heavy defeat to England.

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    He later lambasted a reporter for her perceived temerity in asking him about it. Such has been the pattern recently, with increasing pressure on his position creating ever more combustible displays.

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    After a late summer loss to the All Blacks, he called the media "naïve" for daring to suggest that he was worried about his future, while he is also understood to have had a screaming row with the family of a development player for not doing exactly as he prescribed.

    Cheika, in many ways, is among the last of the great bruisers in Australian coaching. Rather like Des Hasler, formerly of rugby league's Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, who once ended a rant by ripping a dressing-room door off its hinges, Cheika leaves people guessing as to which way his apoplectic rages will turn next.

    It is a moot point, though, as to how much these meltdowns are helping his players. Australia have lost eight of their 12 matches this year, losing a series at home to Ireland and winning just two of six in the Rugby Championship. Once regarded as a brooding genius, who marked England's premature exit from the last World Cup with a sly pump of the fist, Cheika is these days coming across more as a street fighting liability.

    The Australian Rugby Union can hardly say they were not warned. In their haste to appoint a successor in 2014 to Ewen McKenzie, who dramatically resigned amid a torrent of rumour around his private life, they turned to a man known for pushing his players to extremes.

    Michael Cheika looks on. Photo / Photosport
    Michael Cheika looks on. Photo / Photosport
    At the New South Wales Waratahs, he would make them run up and down Sydney's calf-shredding Coogee Steps until they could take no more. During the same spell, he was fined £4,000 for allegedly abusing a cameraman and stormed out of a coaching box in such a frenzy he smashed a window.

    While Cheika might have cut the consummate diplomat this week, attending a reception at the Australian High Commission in London, he threatens another outburst if the tide turns against him at Twickenham on Saturday.

    Cheika presents the ARU with a similar dilemma that the Rugby Football Union has faced over Eddie Jones. Former team-mates at Randwick, the two are scrappers to their core, born renegades whose excesses have often been excused by their results. The problem comes, however, when their teams' form starts to fray.

    With Jones' England honeymoon curtailed so dramatically by a fifth-place finish in this year's Six Nations, attention quickly shifted to the darker side of his methods, to the obsessiveness, the whiplash tongue, the penchant for flogging players like Navy Seals. It is the same situation for Cheika: reach a World Cup final, as he did in 2015, and his hot-headedness is portrayed as passion, but engineer Australia's "worst season since 1958" – the words of former head coach Bob Dwyer – and it starts to be seen as little more than gratuitous thuggery.

    And yet where Cheika and Jones are also aligned is in the fact that they are, for the moment, essentially un-sackable. Jones knows that he will not be removed at such a critical juncture in England's World Cup cycle, feeling at liberty to crow to reporters: "You'll sack me in the end – then you can terrorise the next guy."

    Likewise, the ARU appreciates that firing Cheika would merely be a short-term fix, that it would risk replicating the very chaos that led to McKenzie's exit four years ago.

    There is yet to be even a hint of him not seeing out his contract, which expires after next year's World Cup. In a sense, then, Cheika should be celebrated while he lasts, as a true Antipodean pugilist struggling to hold on to what dignity he has left. Against his old confrere Eddie, it promises to be quite the show.

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    Eddie isn’t going to get the sack they had a losing streak but his results are there. He is also turning around with a high injury toll. Half his forward pack and Anthony Watson are out long term then you have the Joe Marler situation.

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    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakkies View Post
    Eddie isn’t going to get the sack they had a losing streak but his results are there. He is also turning around with a high injury toll. Half his forward pack and Anthony Watson are out long term then you have the Joe Marler situation.
    Whoever wins tomorrow will be breathing a huge sigh of relief no matter what the circumstance right now. Cheika seems to be the coach given a license to fail without any accountability. Amazing considering the daggers that were out for Deans

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    Deans, Knuckles and Jones. Macqueen was threatened with the sack after losing to Argentina.

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    'I may be a Senator but I am not stupid'


    https://omny.fm/shows/the-alan-jones-breakfast-show/cameron-clyne

    Link to Senate Report http://www.aph.gov.au/senate_ca

    https://www.change.org/p/rugby-australia-petition-for-cameron-clyne-to-resign-as-chairman-of-the-rugby-australia-board

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