Wallabies embrace the tough times

by RUGBY.com.au staff

When things get difficult against Argentina on Sunday, Wallabies coach Michael Cheika wants his team to enjoy it.

If the game gets tougher again, he wants them to enjoy it more.

“This is an opportunity for us, a great opportunity for us, to progress but it’s all about confronting the opponent on Sunday over 80 minutes,”: he said.

“You don’t want to be stressed about it, you want to enjoy it.

“It’s going to be tough, yeah ,it’s going to be had and there’s going to be a lot of hurt.

“We want to enjoy it and when it gets tough enjoy it even more and then you can sit in the dressing rooms afterwards and be satisfied with the fact that you’ve done everything you can.

“Until then, you can’t be satisfied.”

The Wallabies’ starting XV will have 876 Test caps among it on Sunday, the most of any Australian team in history but Cheika said he wasn’t preoccupied with those numbers.

“I suppose experience does help but to be honest I don’t feel like there’s a lot of pressure,” he said.

“I think it’s up to us to create that in the game on the opposition.”

Cheika will draw on his own past coaching successes as the tournament goes on as well.

The only coach to win a provincial title in both the northern and southern hemispheres, Cheika said those experiences had informed his approach to the week.

“For me myself those things I can go back to different experiences that I’ve had in competitions to make sure I’m trying to prepare mentally correctly, like my own preparation and the team’s,” he said.

“Every situation’s unique and it’s about me making sure that I’ve prepared the best I possibly can and that will make us feel really ready for the match.

In that respect, Cheika said his concentration had been on his side leading into the do or die match.

“We’ve really worked hard in making sure we’ve been as exact as we can in most things and as hard as we can on the things that need to be attended to,” he said.

“So no candy-coating everything, we’re making sure everything’s as clear as it has to be.”

Improvement has been Cheika’s mantra through the tournament and that won’t change against Argentina, he said.

“Even when you’re down sometimes you’ve got to want to give your best every day,” he said.

"That’s what we want to do. That’s what I want to do and I know I’m not always there not and not perfect at it.

“In tournament play getting better is the key. That’s definitely what we’ll be looking to do (on Sunday). “