Cheika: All Blacks give Wallabies 'no chance'

Mon, 15 Aug 2016 06:55

INTERVIEW: Coach Michael Cheika fired up the war of words with his New Zealand counterpart Steve Hansen on Monday.

Cheika said the All Blacks rate the Wallabies as having 'no chance' of winning this weekend's Rugby Championship opener.

The Wallabies are the defending Rugby Championship title holders but have won just one of their last 13 encounters with the back-to-back World Cup champions.

On arrival in Sydney at the weekend, Hansen was told Cheika had suggested he faced some interesting All Blacks selection decisions and responded by saying the Wallabies coach had enough problems of his own to worry about.

Cheika hit back on Monday as the tensions began to rise ahead of Saturday's Test in Sydney, which also doubles as a Bledisloe Cup match.

"I don't know what he's upset about," Cheika told reporters.

"It's up to him. For us, I think we know how we're thought of.

"We know they think we're no chance to do anything and they're validated, I suppose, we haven't beaten them for ages in the series so it's understandable that they would think that."

The Wallabies have a 13-year Bledisloe Cup drought and New Zealand's rugby ascendancy remains a thorn in Australia's side.

"We've been working hard for a few weeks to get ourselves together," Cheika said.

"We'll just get our stuff together and do our absolute best when we get out there on Saturday night."

The Wallabies are coming into the Rugby Championship on the back of a 3-0 home series loss to England, while the All Blacks won all three Tests of their home series against Wales in June.

Cheika said he had worked on building belief among the Wallabies, but the All Blacks provided the ultimate test for his players.

"We've come off the back of a fair few years of indifferent performances," Cheika said.

"Over the last 18 months, we've been trying to build it (belief) in not just the guys who are starting, but in the bigger group of players.

"When you are doing that you will come up against resistance sometimes or things that may not go right, but that doesn't mean you stop, you've got to push through it.

"You need mental fortitude and there's no better place to test mental fortitude than against New Zealand."

South Africa face Argentina in the other opening round match of the Rugby Championship in Nelspruit on Saturday.

Agence France-Presse

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Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
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Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
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Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
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Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand 6 6 0 0 28
Australia 6 2 2 2 15
South Africa 6 2 2 1 14
Argentina 6 0 0 6 0