Wallabies to make changes as coach Michael Cheika questions player attitude in Scotland defeat
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has forecast changes for Australia's next match against Italy and questioned the attitude of some players following a five-point loss to Scotland.
After beating Fiji comfortably in Melbourne, the Wallabies returned to their bad habits from last year in a 24-19 loss to a valiant Scottish outfit at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
It is back to the drawing board for Cheika and the coaching staff who had to sit through a match where Australia made two costly errors, through Tatafu Polota-Nau and Will Genia, which gifted Scotland a couple of easy tries.
Cheika hinted that he put a rocket up his players at full-time and spoke about how the level of effort wasn't there for the full 80 minutes.
Asked whether there would be changes in Brisbane, Cheika replied: "I'd say there'd be a few. It's about being more urgent to the game. You've got to make it happen. You've got to have guys with that attitude.
"I know it's hurting [captain] Michael [Hooper] too because I can feel it here, him sitting next to me. He's one of the few out there leading the charge.
His effort was typified in the second half when he made a big break down the field but had no support and was subsequently isolated and gave away the ball.
"It was a pretty unusual break, the fact it was out the front of a maul," Hooper said. "In hindsight, it would have been nice to be able to buy some time for the other guys to get there. Frustrating. Plenty to look at on Monday."
Following what will be the hardest game of a three-game June block, the Wallabies now travel to Brisbane to prepare for a match against Italy, who are ranked 15th in the world.
The three matches were supposed to be building blocks to the first Bledisloe match on August 19 against the All Blacks but Saturday's loss has thrown up more questions than answers.
"This week will be important for how we respond," Cheika said. "How players respond to the challenge that will be put in front of them around the mindset that they bring to the game."
Cheika snapped at a Scottish journalist who asked if the Wallabies coach was surprised at how well Scotland played given so few people gave them a chance of pulling off an upset win.
"The only people who are saying that Scotland aren't up to it is the Scottish media," Cheika said. "You keep putting yourself down and maybe it's so you can get up for the game. We think Scotland are a top team. We never said anything about that, you guys say it and then you perpetuate the story back through us somehow. I don't see our media saying that.
"We knew what we were going to be in for and we got exactly what we expected."
Wallabies No.12 Karmichael Hunt was even more aggressive than in his first Test and his determination was there for all to see. He failed a head injury assessment late in the match but Cheika said he did not think it was too serious.