Published: Sun, October 20, 2019
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New Zealand, England Set Up Blockbuster Semi-Final

New Zealand, England Set Up Blockbuster Semi-Final

Cheika's contract was up at the end of the year and he has decided not to renew after the Wallabies were thrashed 40-16 on Saturday evening - marking their worst World Cup finish since 2007 and equal-worst ever.

New Zealand will face England in next Saturday's Rugby World Cup semi-finals after the All Blacks pummelled a flat Ireland 46-14 in today's last-eight clash in Tokyo.

This brings to an end a five-year spell at the helm, which began when Cheika took over the reins from Robbie Deans, a year before leading the Wallabies to the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

"Michael Cheika's stubbornness, aligned with indecision and lack of faith in his players has seen the Wallabies reduced to a rabble", rugby writer Jamie Pandaram said. Articles appear on for a limited time.

All Black teams don't need to be reminded.

In contrast, All Black scrumhalf Aaron Smith was electric, scoring two first half-tries that put Ireland on the ropes and shepherding his forwards around the park in a dominant performance.

"I thought we actually played quite well, especially the first 50 or 60, yeah we gave away two intercepts, and they defended well - like you've got to", he said.

"I put my chips in earlier in the year, I said "no win, no play", so I'm the type of person who will always back what he says".

"We did what's needed".

Eyebrows were lifted when Jones dropped George Ford from the starting team to enable him to pair centres Manu Tuilagi and Henry Slade outside Owen Farrell at flyhalf but, not for the first time, the vastly experienced coach showed that he knew what he was doing.

"We hung in there, got a bit of momentum back and then took our opportunities well".

Castle also restated Rugby Australia's previous position that the Giteau Law was under review and could be altered to better suit what she described as the "modern" rugby world. "Secondly, we had a great supporter base over here to push us along and we really felt it along the way, so to not be able to do it for them, and for ourselves, is pretty gutting".

Closer to home, the success of Australian rugby has always been tied to the Wallabies.

"There is no doubt it gives you the icing when the Wallabies are going really well".

Paul said some may be keen now to stamp them as champions-elect as the All Blacks, in search of an unprecedented third consecutive World crown "are going to be phenomenally hard to beat because they are playing beyond the imagination of most defence coaches". So now we are going to step off the merry-go-round and relax.

Castle also promised a thorough review of the Wallabies' world cup campaign and the 2019 season overall, to be undertaken by Director of Rugby Scott Johnson.

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