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Cheika defends Tui after scuffle


'I hope the fan is happy' - Cheika defends Tui after scuffle with fan and explains why it kicked off

Wallaby forward Lukhan Tui may step away from the game after an angry fan confronted him in an unsavoury incident following Australia’s loss to Argentina at the Cbus Super stadium on the Gold Coast.

The fan was shown being wrested away by a fellow spectator, as players tried to assuage the situation.

Headcoach Michael Cheika was asked about the situation and explained the background to it. Tui’s step-father died suddenly during the week and his teammates donned black arm-bands during the game in honour of his passing.

The incident with the member of the crowd added insult to injury for the backrow and he has now asked the ARU to take a break from the game.

“I don’t think that’s appropriate that that happened. I get the discontent and you own that; words, abuse comes sometimes, that’s the way it is.

“You have to suck it up when you don’t play well and own that. He pushed the younger sister and Lukhan didn’t like that and that’s fair enough considering everything that’s happened to him this week.

“You shouldn’t be pushing a kid in the crowd.”

“[It got] to a point where the player is in the dressing room [saying] he’s not going to be playing anymore because of that incident,” Cheika said. “I hope the fan is happy.”

“He’s not going to play and he needs a rest. That’s a pretty heavy thing to happen. He just said it in the dressing room to players now off the back of a very difficult dressing room. It’s not what you want to have.”

The Wallabies had their moments in attack and despite a disjointed performance still had a late chance to steal victory, but ultimately were out enthused by the visitors who secured their first win on Australian soil since 1983.

Argentina were the first to strike when fullback Emiliano Boffelli slotted a penalty goal from beyond the halfway line, before the Wallabies returned serve with the first try of the match through a brilliant passage of play finished by Will Genia after winger Reece Hodge turned the ball back inside.

Five minutes later, the visitors hit back when man of the match Nicolas Sanchez scored and converted his own try, before a stunning individual effort from Israel Folau who breezed past five defenders to score in the corner, returned the lead to the men in gold, 14-10.

The score would remain that way until the 37th minute, when a defensive lapse from the Wallabies allowed flanker Pablo Matera through a hole from deep inside his own half to set up a try for speedy winger, Bautista Delguy.

Leading by three points at the break, Argentina extended their lead to six points before the Wallabies backline clicked again and fullback Dane Haylett-Petty chimed on to the end of the lien to score in the corner.

The second half descended into a pure battle as both teams surrendered good attacking opportunities and the only other score came off the boot of Boffelli, who roosted another penalty goal from beyond halfway to make it 23-19.

The game eventually came down to the final play, where first-half try-scorer Folau backed himself for the line but was dispossessed in a heavy front on tackle from Pumas lock Tomas Lavanini.

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'I hope the fan is happy' - Cheika defends Tui after scuffle with fan and explains why it kicked off