Cheika still sweating on swearing probe

Michael Cheika (AP)
Michael Cheika (AP)

London - Australia coach Michael Cheika was left waiting Tuesday to find out if he will be punished for his conduct during the Wallabies' 30-6 defeat by England last week, as officials confirmed a disciplinary probe was still ongoing.

Cheika was infuriated by several decisions that went against Australia at Twickenham on Saturday and when a Michael Hooper try was disallowed in the first half, he appeared to mouth an expletive in reference to the ruling made by referee Ben O'Keeffe.

When asked during a broadcast interview if he had actually mouthed an expletive and called New Zealand's O'Keeffe a "cheat", Cheika ended the interview.

Earlier, Cheika twice walked down the steps from the coaches' box to the touchline to remonstrate with officials. He also received abuse from supporters that he described as a "gobful" that was "not pleasant" and at one point had a verbal exchange with a fan.

Autumn international disciplinary officials launched an investigation on Monday and on Tuesday they said their inquiries had yet to be completed.

"The investigation is continuing and a further update will be issued in due course," they said in a statement.

Cheika called into question rugby union's replay procedure after several decisions went against his side during a match where the scale of Australia's defeat was compounded by England running in three late tries through Jonathan Joseph, Jonny May and Danny Care.

With England just 3-0 ahead, Australia were denied a 27th-minute try on review after Wallaby captain Hooper was ruled to have been in front of the kicker.

Australia were still in the game at 13-6 behind when what appeared to a try by wing Marika Koroibete was eventually disallowed for a block by replacement hooker Stephen Moore.

To make matters worse for the Wallabies, the 54th-minute try that England's Elliot Daly scored to give the hosts a decisive 11-3 lead was awarded after numerous replays failed to determine if a kick by scrum-half Ben Youngs, that the Wasps wing hacked on and then regathered, had first gone into touch.

There was a lengthy delay in each case as O'Keeffe consulted with Irish TV match official Simon McDowell.

Australia conclude their European tour against Scotland at Murrayfield this coming Saturday, November 25.

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