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

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 25 May 2018
Crusaders v Hurricanes 07h35 Christchurch
Rebels v Sunwolves 09h45 Melbourne
Jaguares v Sharks 19h40 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Sat, 26 May 2018
Chiefs v Waratahs 07h35 Hamilton
Reds v Highlanders 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Bulls v Brumbies 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Exeter Chiefs v Saracens 14h00 London
Stormers v Lions 15h15 Newlands
Leinster v Scarlets 17h00 Dublin
RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP
MORE LOGS
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