Wallabies coach rues simple mistakes against France
WALLABIES coach Michael Cheika is set to ring the changes for this weekend's Test against Ireland in Dublin, but not as a reaction to the disappointing 29-26 loss to France in Paris.
Cheika blamed handling errors for the loss, his first since taking over from Ewen McKenzie last month.
"There were too many simple mistakes at key moments. We didn't give ourselves an opportunity to get on the front foot," he said.
"We had really good chances to launch attacks from set-pieces or counter-attacks and we regularly turned it over."
One of those chances came in the dying moments as the Wallabies pressed for what would have been an unlikely victory close to the French line, a knock-on denying a promising attacking sortie. Just minutes earlier Rob Simmons (pictured) got Australia back into the game with his first Test try after some excellent work by Quade Cooper and Israel Folau.
Cooper had been injected off the bench with Queensland Reds teammate Will Genia and Western Force forward Matt Hodgson, Cooper and Genia in particular immediately lifting the team's energy levels.
Speaking to reporters last week, Cheika said one of the goals of the tour was to give as many players in the squad as possible a chance to experience the system he is trying to implement. Backs Matt Toomua and Henry Speight are likely to be given a chance, while Kurtley Beale and Jake Schatz, who flew out of Australia on the weekend to join the touring party, may have to wait for another week.
SCORE: France 29 (Tillolus-Borde, Thomas tries; Lopez 2 cons, 4 pens, Kockott pen) Australia 26 (Ashley-Cooper, Simmons tries; Foley 2 cons, 4 pens) at Stade de France, Paris