Aus­tralia is not seek­ing re­venge against Eng­land, says coach

The China Post - - SPORTS - BY PI­RATE IR­WIN

Aus­tralia will not take on wounded World Cup hosts Eng­land on Satur­day with re­venge on their minds, Wal­la­bies coach Michael Cheika said.

An Aus­tralian win at Twick­en­ham could con­demn Eng­land to the ig­nominy of be­ing the first World Cup host to fail to reach the knock­out stages.

How­ever, Cheika re­futed the idea that Aus­tralia’s heart­break­ing de­feat in the 2003 World Cup fi­nal in Syd­ney — to a Jonny Wilkin­son drop goal in the dy­ing sec­onds — is a mo­ti­vat­ing fac­tor.

“That would be the wrong rea­son to be play­ing the game,” said Cheika as he an­nounced his start­ing XV on Thurs­day.

“Any­thing we are do­ing here is for us,” he told re­porters.

“When you go through 80 min­utes of war­fare — or our ver­sion of it — you need big­ger mo­ti­va­tions than that.

“That mo­ti­va­tion can go away in a heart­beat as soon as one thing goes wrong. Mo­ti­va­tions have to be from deep in­side.”

Other rea­sons to win “are quite su­per­fi­cial be­cause they dis­si­pate very quickly when there’s 82,000 English peo­ple scream­ing at you in the sta­dium.”

Cheika, who has turned round the Wal­la­bies in less than a year af­ter a trou­bled term un­der Ewen McKen­zie, gave short shrift to provoca­tive state­ments from Eng­land No. 8 Ben Mor­gan, who said he and his fel­low pack mem­bers would ex­pose the Aussie scrum.

“I know they think we’re weak in the for­wards. It’s pretty ob­vi­ous that they’re say­ing it out loud,” said Cheika, who guided Aus­tralia to the Rugby Cham­pi­onship ti­tle in Au­gust, in­clud­ing a re­mark­able 27-19 win over the All Blacks.

“They’ve done it to us, they’ve stuck it to us the last cou­ple of times so there’s noth­ing we can say in our room that’s go­ing to make any dif­fer­ence.

Cheap Rugby Talk

“The only place things are go­ing to be dif­fer­ent is on the field on Satur­day night and that’s where we’ve got to show our col­ors. “Talk’s cheap, you know.” Cheika, the only coach to have won a Euro­pean Cup and a Su­per Rugby ti­tle with Le­in­ster and the Waratahs re­spec­tively, said he did not know whether Eng­land lack self-belief af­ter their dev­as­tat­ing 28-25 loss to Wales last Satur­day. He said his fo­cus is only on Aus­tralia.

“For many years, we have strug­gled a bit be­cause maybe from ex­ter­nal pres­sures or for what­ever rea­son that re­ally strong belief in the team as a whole and our­selves was ab­sent.

“I feel we have worked re­ally hard on that over 12 months since we got to­gether in the last spring tour.

“Even in that when we were not win­ning games on that tour, we were work­ing hard on that point be­cause we knew how im­por­tant it would be for the team in gen­eral and for rugby in Aus­tralia.”

Cheika said self-con­fi­dence be- comes in­fec­tious.

“It is not some­thing that just comes and goes. You have to build it and you have to have it. I don’t think you can have it one week and lose it the next.

“It makes you re­silient for the losses. When we got beaten by New Zealand in the sec­ond game (41-13), we did not all of a sud­den lose our belief.

“You have got to take those fail­ures, move on and build on from those and be suc­cess­ful af­ter that.”

Cheika said Eng­land had made a huge mis­take in their tour­na­ment ap­proach if they just con­sid­ered Satur­day’s match against Aus­tralia as their World Cup fi­nal.

“I would be sur­prised if that is the case as from our point of view, ev­ery game is a fi­nal.

“It is tour­na­ment play. I don’t think you can all of a sud­den de­cide ‘it’s the fi­nal, we had bet­ter play’.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.