Australia v England: Michael Cheika urges team to deal with 'niggle'

By Chris JonesBBC Radio 5 live rugby reporter in Melbourne
Australia coach Michael Cheika
Former Leinster coach Michael Cheika led Australia to the final of the 2015 World Cup final in England
Australia v England - Second Test
Date: Saturday 18 June Time: 11:00 BST Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary on BBC Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website

Australia must cope better with England's off-the-ball tactics in Saturday's second Test in Melbourne, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says. 

Cheika believes there was "a lot of niggle" from Eddie Jones' side in their opening 39-28 win in Brisbane, the opening match of the three-Test series.

"Niggle is the stuff you do off the ball so you're protected," Cheika, 49, said. 

"We probably have to deal with the niggle a bit better."

The Australia coach added: "If someone pulls you down you can't whack a bloke because you know you're going to get caught. We don't want to do niggle, that's not our game."

Cheika said he was "loving" the prospect of the do-or-die clash, with England knowing victory at AAMI Park will give them a first series win down under. 

"I love being in this situation. I know that sounds crazy," he said. 

"We are in a battle, let's go. After the game in Brisbane, I was miserable, I wanted to cry, [but] I am looking forward to Saturday immensely, I'm certainly not desperate."

Much attention in the build-up has been on the battle at the scrum, following England's dominance last weekend. 

England and Australia scrum
England's scrummaging tactics have come under close scrutiny following their first Test win

Former Australia coach Bob Dwyer has accused England's Dan Cole of cheating at the set-piece, which prompted an obscene tweet towards Dwyer from England player Joe Marler, who is not on the tour.

Dwyer was also critical of England's technique before the decisive World Cup encounter between the teams last October, which Australia won 33-13 to knock the hosts out of the tournament at the group stage.

Marler's team-mate Mako Vunipola says he can "see where Marler is coming from" but is confident referee Craig Joubert will not be influenced by external noise come the weekend.

"We are all human beings. I can't comment on what Marler tweets. You can see where he is coming from, but it's tough. It's one of those things - a reaction," Vunipola said.

"We just have to go out there and do what we can. 

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have every confidence in Coley. We are very lucky to have one of the best referees in the world, Craig Joubert.

"We trust he will make the calls that are needed. That World Cup [game] is history."

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