Wallabies tries giving people what they want

Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Michael Cheika’s Wallabies are scoring tries because that’s what the people want, he says.

Australia has scored nine tries across their two knock-out games in the World Cup, showing their attacking style hasn’t shifted despite the increasing stakes of each game.

Cheika said that wouldn't be changing any time soon, either.

“I’ve been brought up with tries, attacking football,” he said.

“I understand that it’s more difficult but if you don’t try to score them you’re not going to."

The business end of World Cups have traditionally been known for tight, shutdown performances and Cheika said that their wide style could leave them open, he is in favour of sticking to a game that is natural to him and most of Australia.

“It does leave you open and can leave you open on the counter punch sometimes...but I think that’s how Australians want us to play.

“They want us to do it well, they don’t just want us to just run the ball around, throw it anywhere and give it to the opposition.

“They want us to be good at that and play that style. You’ve got to always have the foundation of contact, go forward , all those things.’

Cheika said while try-scoring was a priority, they were well aware of the need to hold out opponents.

"It’s all part of the way we want to play the game. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. We didn’t score against Wales.

"Like you’ve seen because the results are always close even when we’re not getting tries, it’s not always the magic barometer either. You’ve just got to get the right balance."

The Wallabies’ scramble defence proved another game breaking weapon against the Pumas and Cheika said this was what was needed to underpin their finishers.

“We lost some lineout ball as well, so we started going without the ball. and at this level of football, semi-final football at the World Cup you go without the ball, there’s a good chance the other team’s going to dominate you,” he said.

“We worked really hard in defence and that’s something we want to be able to do because it’s a sign of team spirit and we want to work hard there.”

Inside centre Matt Giteau exited the game midway through the second half with a groin niggle but Cheika was optimistic about his prognosis post-match.

The Wallabies play New Zealand in Saturday’s Rugby World Cup final at Twickenham.