Wallabies have last laugh over critics with demolition of Wales
RUGBY UNION: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has taken pleasure in proving former international Glen Ella wrong following his team's impressive 32-8 win over Wales in Cardiff.
Ella, an assistant coach with England and Cheika's former teammate at Randwick, wrote a column last week writing off the chances of the Wallabies winning a grand slam on the Spring Tour and also saying the coach was on thin ice if results didn't go his way.
But after the best performance of the year, Cheika was happy to point out that Ella was wrong.
"Glen's a player who I respect immensely, a teammate of mine from Randwick and a great Wallaby. He was a great attacking player,” he said.
"We want people to have opinions on the game - I'm glad he's wrong. He was wrong.
"But at the same time, he's an international coach. He coaches England and he's entitled to have his opinion. It's all good for the game.
"I'm sure if you rang him now, he'll be happy we won.”
Bernard Foley earned man-of-the-match honours in the win, scoring a try and setting up a number of chances, especially in a dominant first-half display from Australia.
He too said the players were not listening to the critics, and were instead determined to put things right on the field.
"For us, there is a lot of external noise - and there has been this year - and I think it's something we've had to put up with but as a squad we're taking no notice of that external noise,” Foley said after the Wallabies' five-try showing.
"We're just focused on our roles in this squad and being really tight as a group.
"The resilience this team has showed, the character it's showed, and the Tests we've been put through this year is just setting the platform, hopefully, for future success.”
The Wallabies are looking for a first grand slam of wins over the home nations - England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland - since 1984.
They play Scotland next week in Edinburgh and Foley said the team would be ready, especially after almost being upset by the Scots in the World Cup quarter-final in England last year.
"The Scottish are a side that we've had some close encounters with in the past couple of years, you only have to look back at last year's quarter-final,” Foley said.
"They're a team that if you're ill-disciplined and if you knock off at set piece, they'll really hurt you. That's something we'll address early this week and go there with a plan to nullify that.”