Cheika: Aussies are hungrier

Sun, 06 Apr 2014 16:52
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Waratahs coach Michael Cheika believes that the Australian conference is more competitive this year because the teams have shown more hunger.

Waratahs coach Michael Cheika believes that the Australian conference is more competitive this year because the teams have shown more hunger.

Cheika's team earned a valuable four points on the road against the Stormers at Newlands on Saturday to make it three Australian teams in the top five with the Brumbies and Force also getting up for wins.

He said that the resurgence of Australian rugby this year is encouraging after being the 'poor cousins' of the SANZAR trio for so long.

"I like what I've seen from the teams so far this year – [they are] more hungry to be involved in the contest," he said.

"We've probably been the poor cousin of the SANZAR triumvirate for a while and it's about time we started to get into it a little bit more.

"That's not to say that we're going to win but at least make ourselves present and say 'we're going to have a go here' and get stuck in.

"It will be seen at the end of the season and who is in the finals but so far it's quite competitive," he added.

The Waratahs coach said that his team had caught the Stormers at an ideal time and took advantage to earn their first-ever win in Cape Town.

"To be fair to the Stormers, I think we got them at just the right time. They've come back from a long tour, they're missing several key players and we were a week into our three weeks so we were all feeling sharp.

"We got them in a good week. They had just had four weeks on tour, had a few injuries, no Jean de Villiers, no Schalk Burger, no Gio Aplon - so it hurt them.

"So I think we have to be realistic around that too, but we took advantage of the situation, put them under a bit of pressure and were able to come away with something."

"Without going too far away from our attacking game, which I don't think we did, one of the big things we wanted to do was build pressure," Cheika said.

He explained that with the Stormers already under pressure, he knew that they had a good chance of taking some points back to Australia with them as they get ready to face the high-flying Force in Perth.

"In a season where it seems the ledger of home-and-away wins is going to be quite important, any away win you get is going to be quite valuable.

"We knew the Stormers were under a little bit of pressure so [we were] trying to build a bit of pressure around keeping the ball in that part of the field instead of going for that one extra pass that we're guilty of sometimes at scrum and at line-out," he said.

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Tue, 06 October 2015
Canada v Romania 15h45 Leicester
Fiji v Uruguay 19h00 Milton Keynes
Wed, 07 October 2015
South Africa v United States 15h45 London
Namibia v Georgia 19h00 Exeter
Fri, 09 October 2015
Pumas v Blue Bulls 16h00 Mbombela Stadium
Western Province v EP Kings 16h00 Newlands
New Zealand v Tonga 19h00 Newcastle
Sat, 10 October 2015
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 12h00 Bloemfontein
Samoa v Scotland 13h30 Newcastle
Golden Lions v Griquas 14h00 Ellis Park
Australia v Wales 15h45 London
England v Uruguay 19h00 Manchester
Sun, 11 October 2015
Argentina v Namibia 11h00 Leicester
Italy v Romania 13h30 Exeter
France v Ireland 15h45 Cardiff
United States v Japan 19h00 Gloucester
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Waratahs 16 11 0 5 52
Brumbies 16 9 0 7 47
Rebels 16 7 0 9 36
Reds 16 4 0 12 22
Force 16 3 0 13 19
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Hurricanes 16 14 0 2 66
Highlanders 16 11 0 5 53
Chiefs 16 10 0 6 48
Crusaders 16 9 0 7 46
Blues 16 3 0 13 20
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 16 10 1 5 45
Lions 16 9 1 6 42
Bulls 16 7 0 9 38
Sharks 16 7 0 9 34
Cheetahs 16 5 0 11 26