Cheika tells All Blacks to ‘bring it on’

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

WAL­LA­BIES coach Michael Cheika said yes­ter­day that he is look­ing for­ward to fi­nally beat­ing the All Blacks in New Zealand this week­end, telling the world cham­pi­ons to “bring it on”.

Aus­tralia is look­ing to end a de­mor­al­is­ing 15-year, 19-Test se­quence with­out a win in New Zealand in Oc­to­ber 22’s third and fi­nal Bledis­loe Cup Test.

The se­ries is al­ready de­cided af­ter the All Blacks thumped the Wal­la­bies 42-8 in Syd­ney and 29-9 in Welling­ton in Tests dou­bling as Rugby Cham­pi­onship en­coun­ters.

The Wal­la­bies will also have to con­front the grim statis­tic of not hav­ing won at Auck­land’s Eden Park the venue for Satur­day’s Test in 30 years.

Their last vic­tory at Eden Park was 17 Test en­coun­ters ago when they pre­vailed 22-9 over the All Blacks in 1986.

The all-con­quer­ing All Blacks, who ear­lier this month clinched the Rugby Cham­pi­onship with home and away wins over South Africa, Aus­tralia and Ar­gentina, are also try­ing to smash the world record for the most con­sec­u­tive Test wins with an 18th-straight vic­tory.

Amid all this Cheika is un­bowed about Aus­tralia’s chances of caus­ing a ma­jor boilover this week­end.

“It’s ob­vi­ously proven to be a tough place for us to go and play, but I’m old­fash­ioned,” Cheika told re­porters.

“I look for­ward to it. Bring it on. It’s a great op­por­tu­nity.”

Hooker and cap­tain Stephen Moore was equally en­thused: “This is what you play for, th­ese type of games, th­ese op­por­tu­ni­ties to go and play the best teams.”

Cheika said he was look­ing at mak­ing an early call on the fit­ness of in­jured back row­ers David Po­cock [hand] and Sean McMa­hon [an­kle] ahead of this week’s game.

“We’ll have a han­dle on where they are at to­day in train­ing and then we’ll get stuck into it to­mor­row and see who can do what and base our de­ci­sions from there,” Cheika said. –

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