Cheika proud of Wallabies


Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said his team could look each other in the eye with pride after Australia held off France in a thrilling Test on Saturday.

Camille Lopez missed a last-gasp drop goal as the Wallabies claimed a 25-23 win at the Stade de France in Paris.

Australia were missing a number of stars, with the likes of Israel Folau, Michael Hooper and Quade Cooper not involved in the French capital, but the Wallabies - led by stand-in captain David Pocock closed out the victory to remain undefeated on their European tour.

After Saturday's side were labelled a "B Team" pre-game, Cheika said: "The team selection was made with the knowledge that obviously when a player steps inside a gold jersey, he knows who he has to be and we've been working really hard on that this year with a new group of players and that's all I wanted them to do tonight.

"Whether they were labelled as the 'Equipe Bis' or not or the first team, I was just really proud of the effort.

"We made some mistakes as well but I feel like there was a lot of commitment there from our lads.

"That gives them the opportunity to eye-ball each other in the dressing room after the game and say, 'You know what? I did my job and I can look at my team-mate straight in the eye' and that is all there is to it."

Cheika also singled out Pocock for praise, telling reporters: "I think we all know what David brings I don't want to embarrass him sitting next to me but I think as a leader - different as a No.7 - today he played as a leader and captain.

"And I think that inspires other players around him and it certainly inspires me watching him in the game when you see a leader take it on like that.

"Full credit to him because he was one of the players that was retained in the team, he knew he had a job to do and he took it on with both hands."

France boss Guy Noves added: "[The most] frustrating [thing] is it took first half to get going, I was really bored in the first half and the match only became beautiful in the second half.

"We were lucky to wear the jersey and be there on the pitch so I told my guys if you do nothing during the first half it's not worthwhile.

"There is a lot of frustration because I feel we could have won and the first half does not pay tribute to the work that has been going into the preparation."