"I promise you": Cheika says with belief, the pain will pay off

The Rugby Championship
Beth Newman Profile
by Beth Newman

Michael Cheika is adamant that the turbulence of 2018 will pay off for his team but he says turning the corner begins with unwavering belief from his players.

The Wallabies have won just two of their past 10 Tests and face a Pumas side on Sunday morning that beat them on the Gold Coast less than a month ago.

Argentina will go into the match as $1.80 favourites, a position the South Americans have rarely if ever been in against the Wallabies, vying for their first back-to-back wins over Australia.

Lose and the marathon journey back to Australia will create a blistering furnace of pressure.

Secure a strong win over an under-appreciated Pumas outfit in front of a hostile Salta crowd, however, and Cheika’s promise of a light at the end of the tunnel might start to come into the view of a despondent Aussie fan base.

"Everything happens for a reason,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“I know that might be an easy thing to say in retrospect but some of the pain we're going through this year now is going to pay for us later on.

“I promise you.

“What we're going through, a tough time, is going to make our players and our people in the squad as a whole tougher and more ready for battle.

“There's no bigger battle than coming to Argentina and playing over here.

“It's always tough, always a noisy crowd, very passionate behind their team and we've got to make sure that we're standing together out there for Australia when we play, solid as and ready to go and ready to take some of the pain we've felt over this season so far and use it in the right way.”

In dark times like the Wallabies currently find themselves, there’s a leap of faith required to buy into pledges of future success, and that is what Cheika wants from his team.

They must trust that they are on the right path and that a corner is there to be turned if they press on, he believes.

“It’s about believing in what we're doing but also enjoying too,” he said.

“Enjoying the challenge.

“You can't look to go and cry in a hole when you're under the pump.

“You've got to make sure where there's a challenge there you step up and you take it and you do it in the right way that represents this team for what it is.”

Cheika is adamant that though it might seem like the Wallabies are ‘working in the dark’ now, they simply needed to stick fat with their plan.

“We're very, very sure about what we need to do every week we go out there,” he said.

“Sometimes it doesn't happen and that's where you challenge to make sure you get it better and prove it.

“Sometimes it feels like you're working in the dark but you're not. 

“You stay true to what you believe and it'll happen on the field and I'm sure we'll have a discussion after the game on Saturday night and you'll be asking me about how good it went.”

Eventually there comes a tipping point where a patchy team must pull out a win to save itself a wide-reaching fallout and many would point to Saturday’s Salta Test as the result the team’s next step hinges on.

Asked whether they needed a win to vindicate their progress, Cheika was blunt.

“We don't need it, we'll get it,” he said.

The Wallabies arrived in Salta on Thursday evening ahead of the weekend’s Test with the Pumas.

The Wallabies face the Pumas in Salta on Sunday October 7 AEDT, kicking off at 9:40am, LIVE on FOX SPORTS and Channel Ten.