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Waratahs coach Cheika questions referee decision

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika is not happy

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Article Published: Saturday 23 February 2013|

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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika has questioned the referee's decision not to refer an alleged Mike Harris hit on Adam Ashley-Cooper in Brisbane.

Cheika was angered by the alleged shoulder hit on Ashley-Cooper as it forced the player to leave the field with a neck injury.

The incident happened in the 27th minute of the Waratahs season opening 25-17 loss to the Reds.

Ashley-Cooper went straight down after the incident and after receiving help from the medical team he played on until half time.

The Waratahs replaced Ashley-Cooper for the second half with rookie Ben Volavola who went on to score a try on his debut.

"He's not alright, he took a shot, off the ball, no arms (and) no one does anything about it, the guy can't hardly move in there," Cheika told the Sydney Morning Herald.

The Waratahs coach pointed out that the white card referral system was there to be used and hoped that officials would take action against Harris.

"I don't know what (captain Dave Dennis) said on the field but from my end he gets hit with no arm, no ball, comes off the field and nothing happens ... we got a penalty (but) I had a player cited for bumping into a guy on the kick-off at the trials."

Ashley-Cooper was seen later after the match walking around stiffly but Volavola said that the Wallaby utility back needed scans.

"Hopefully it will unspasm but he's not moving much at the moment," Cheika said.

"We don't know where he's going to end up now but we'll see how he looks, give it a chance to settle down a bit."

The Waratahs were understandably upset after starting the season with a loss depite having rallied back from being 17-3 down to draw level.

Once the Waratahs had drawn level Harris put the Reds ahead again with a penalty before centre Ben Tapuai scored a try which put his team out of reach.

"We have to learn how to play under pressure, simple," Cheika said.

"We will learn how to play under pressure more often ... and the more we do it the better we'll get at it."

"We showed that we've got good potential, we showed that we're prepared to work hard ... we show that we're prepared to play a new style - sometimes to our own detriment - but we're committed to doing that because it's the way to teach ourselves to go forward."

Dennis admitted that the pressure came from within and led to errors.

"We were in control of that game once we got back to 17-17 and the momentum was all with us and for some reason we felt we were under pressure, where the reality was we had them under the pump," Dennis said.

"It's just a mindset we've got to change."

 
 
 
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