Wallabies building resistance in enemy territory

by Staff Writer

They’re still the enemy at Twickenham but Michael Cheika says the Wallabies are starting to build resistance against the thunder.

Australia will play its third consecutive match at the London ground against Scotland on Sunday and Cheika said it could only be a boost for the a side after facing hostile crowds against England and Wales in the pool stages.

“I think playing in a stadium like that at any time is a great experience,” he said.

“To be able to play for a few weeks in a row and relatively being the enemy every time ( has been good).

Cheika said the key to generating an immunity to the environment was belief, a constant thread through the Wallabies tournament.

“The heat or the pressure of a game or the thunder if things aren’t going good, when that happen you’ve got to believe in yourself,” he said.

“Having been there a few times under pressure or under the heat in games, can only help us when that situation happens again.

“It’s been really nice to train there a couple of days and play there. We’ll be looking forward to playing there tomorrow.”

Cheika also expressed confidence in the players coming into the side for the Scotland game, with Israel Folau and David Pocock ruled out of the knock out match, replaced by Kurtley Beale and Ben McCalman.

“All the guys that are coming in played significant roles during the Rugby Championship and then the Test in America and the lead up games,” he said.

“Guys are getting experience together and playing together."

Cheika said the development of the players would hopefully transfer to Australian rugby at large.

“That’s something that we really want to pride ourselves on in Australia, is to have good depth in those positions so we really believe in players to come in and fill someone else’s spot,” he said.

“I know Pocock and Folau are great players but I really believe in the guys that are coming in in their position in Beale and McCalman.

“And then McMahon gets the spot on the bench, Quade Cooper comes onto the bench, another player we believe in a lot.

“That’s something we want to build on and make positive going forward.”

Australia faces Scotland in their quarter-final at 2am Monday AEDT.

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