Chuffed Cheika praises forwards

Date published: September 30 2015

Australia head coach Michael Cheika heaped praise on his forwards for their performances at the World Cup so far.

In particular, the Wallabies have been able to use their driving maul from the line-out to devastating effect, leading to two tries in their opening World Cup clash against Fiji and two more against Uruguay.

Cheika acknowledges that Brumbies duo Stephen Moore and David Pocock play their roles to perfection in the forwards’ move. 

Pocock crossed the whitewash no less than eight times for his Super Rugby franchise earlier this year via the line-out maul, which his skipper Moore feeds.

"It's been an excellent weapon for the Brumbies this season and they've got some very skilful players in that area and there's a few of them in the pack and they've been leading our team in building a better maul on both sides of the ball," Cheika told Reuters.

"One thing about all these things – mauls, scrums and line-outs all the tight stuff – they're the most humbling part of the game because you can do really well on one scrum or maul and you get turned on the next one and you're left with your pants down.

"It's not probably what Australians are known for in their footy, but we have to continue to improve in that area so we can repel teams that are going to attack us there and we can use it as well."

However, Cheika’s forward stock has taken a bit of a battering, with powerhouse Will Skelton and veteran Wycliff Palu being sent home due to injury.

On the big frame of Skelton, the coach said that he was sad to see him go.

"It's his first World Cup, so it's a real shame because he was having a really good impact," added Cheika.

Australia face England in a must-win clash for the hosts at Twickenham on Saturday.