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We proved Glen Ella wrong: Michael Cheika

AAP logoAAP 5/11/2016 Joe Barton

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika is pleased his side was able to prove wrong the criticism of former Australian fullback Glen Ella with a clinical victory over Wales to open their Spring Tour.

Ella made headlines this weak with a highly critical online column in which he wrote off the Wallabies' chances of winning the grand slam and said Cheika was "skating on thin ice" should Australia struggle on the tour.

The relationship between Ella and his former Randwick teammate Cheika is said to have soured after the four-Test Wallaby joined Eddie Jones' England coaching staff this year - and was captured wildly celebrating their sweep of the June series against Australia.

Ella also questioned Cheika's decisions at the selection table - including naming David Pocock at No.6 against Wales, for the first time in his career - saying he will "live or die by these decisions".

"Having a solid squad is great but as we have seen all year, it's where he puts these players that is anyone's guess," Ella wrote in the column for sportsta.me.

"At least Michael has been consistent in playing players out of their normal positions so he will either live or die by these selections.

"I think Michael is now skating on thin ice because as the old saying goes, you are only as good as your last game."

Cheika was pleased to point out, after Australia put their most complete 40-minute performance of 2016 in the opening half while Pocock was on the field, that Ella was wrong.

"Glen's a player who I respect immensely, a teammate of mine from Randwick and a great Wallaby. He was a great attacking player," Cheika said.

"We want people to have opinions on the game - I'm glad he's wrong. He was wrong.

"But at the same time, he's an international coach. He coaches England and he's entitled to have his opinion. It's all good for the game.

"I'm sure if you rang him now, he'll be happy we won."

It was predicted the presence of Pocock in the unfamiliar blindside flanker role would hinder Australia's lineout, but that didn't eventuate.

In fact, Australia won all eight lineouts contested in the first half, largely thanks to the 208cm frame of Rory Arnold.

But Cheika insisted he wasn't looking for validation on the gutsy gamble of going with a smaller back-row in the absence of the suspended Dean Mumm.

"I don't think we're looking for validation - we're looking to do a good job on the field, everyone do their role," Cheika said.

"We just want to play good rugby and obviously play physical and play with some attack which is the Australian way."

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