No 'living in the past' ahead of Dunedin Test

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika says he’s stripped back the emotion of a 54-34 Bledisloe loss and won’t be ‘living in the past’ ahead of the second Test this Saturday.

“Obviously you come from disappointment but if you live in the past too much (that won’t help),” he said.

“We've got to get the things that we need to improve on and keep the things that we did well and bring them into this game and get into it.

“That's all we can do is get it on the field.”

Cheika said he couldn’t take more out of either the Wallabies’ leaky first half or the far-improved second stanza, reviewing everything holistically.

“You don't look at them in isolation, you've got to look at the game as a whole,” he said.

“It’s more about looking at it accurately, because with the way the scoreline was there's obviously a lot you think emotionally as well at that point but you've got to look at the reality of the game and what are the things you can do to stop points better.”

Cheika said the side’s defensive issues went beyond the missed tackle count that tends to double as the go-to statistic when discussing defence in rugby.

“A lot of people say (to improve defence, the answer is), 'well, better tackling, right?' but we tackled at 75 per cent -  you tackle over 80 per cent most times, you win the game, between 80 and 90 you're winning the game,” he said.

“75 percent is not the ratio that puts 54 points in you. It's just about the situations as they appear as a whole.

“Dealing with the threat as well as us being better prepared, like better on the field, not better prepared, better on the field.

“There's no doubt we've got to lower that rate for sure on the tackle and then we've got to be more accurate with our own attack.

“I thought in the opportunities we had we made good yardage and we did good things with the ball.

“We threw a few wayward ones, yes, but I think it's just a matter of tidying that stuff up and being, just those little connections, trusting those connections.”

Cheika said he was happy to leave former Wallaby Michael Lynagh’s opinions alone, after the former Australian playmaker savaged the Wallabies, describing their skills as 'non-existent' after the Test.

“Where's he? Over in England isn't he? If that's how he feels, (we) can't change it except for what we do on the field," he said.

Wallabies No. 8 Sean McMahon said the side would look to build its connections this weekend.

“We just have to keep building and making sure we're confident within each other in everything that we're doing," he said.

"That's in attack and especially in defence, that we're all moving up together and on the same page and confident with each other that we're all going to make the tackle and have the faith there.”

The Wallabies take on New Zealand in the second Bledisloe Test on Saturday in Dunedin, kicking off at 5:35pm AEST LIVE on FOX SPORTS.