There is one more brutal 80 minute effort left for the Wallabies in the 2015 World Cup and coach Michael Cheika says it will take more than just brawn to get through it.
Cheika’s focus since he came on board to the team has been ensuring players tap into their own personal motivations for playing, and allowing them to express themselves individually.
Players have credited the approach with helping them realise why they do what they do and what makes them want to improve all the time.
Cheika said that internal drive that would numb the physical pain that will surely come on Saturday, the fifth in a row of playing a nation in rugby’s top 10.
“We only had a short space of time really between the rugby championship and this tournament to get some good building blocks in around fitness and resilience, not just fitness, resilience for contact,” he said.
“Once the 80 minutes starts not only will your preparations take a hold but also a lot of the reasons that are driving you mentally.
“That takes over the physical parts and you only feel the physical parts later.”
Cheika said their mentality would help drive Australia’s physicality in Saturday’s final.
“I love that style of play,” he said.
“We want to bring physicality to the game too.
“What’s your drive? Why do you want to do it?”
“That will give you the fuel to play the game physically so that should be an interesting part of the game.”
Cheika has discussed this week the unity of the team and his captain Stephen Moore lauded his coach’s ability to allow different characters to flourish but remain on the same page.
It’s an approach Cheika has taken to building his team, both players and staff and he said it had been critical for the development of the team.
“What we’re trying to do here is obviously you can almost see it by the way we put our coaching staff together is try and get the best from all the different parts of Australia where the game is being played,” he said.