October 1, 2017 / 7:37 AM / 9 months ago

Rugby-Wallabies coach Cheika disappointed with South Africa draw

BLOEMFONTEIN Oct 1 (Reuters) - Australia coach Michael Cheika believes his side did enough to win their drawn Rugby Championship encounter with South Africa in Bloemfontein on Saturday and is now looking to finish the four-nation tournament with an away win in Argentina.

Cheika said the 27-27 draw at the Free State Stadium was disappointing, with the only positive being that it was an away fixture after the sides had also played out a 23-23 stalemate in Perth last month.

“Obviously, playing away from home feels a little bit better but not a lot. We want to win footy matches, fans are getting up late in Australia to watch us play,” Cheika told reporters.

“I know they would have probably enjoyed the match. I know they would have enjoyed the courage we showed, we kept coming back. But we want to win rugby matches.

“I thought we worked hard enough to get a win but it wasn’t to be. What I was pleased about was the resilience we showed.

“They obviously came with a strategy to run us out of puff on the Highveld but we were able to manage it and it came down to a couple of little bits of pieces,” he added of a contest played at altitude that proved taxing to both teams.

The Wallabies led by three points with 10 minutes remaining but could have also lost the game had home flyhalf Elton Jantjies kicked a last-minute penalty.

Australia complete their Rugby Championship programme against Argentina in Mendoza on Saturday.

“It’s a tough trip, there’s no doubt about it,” captain Michael Hooper added.

“You’ve got to overcome these speed bumps and we’ve done it before, so we’ll be leaning on some of the guys to help the younger guys get on the flight, enjoy the flight and then turn up in Mendoza.” (Reporting by Mark Gleeson; Editing by John O’Brien)

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