Coach Micheael Cheika with the Wallabies players after the defeat. Picture: AAP
Coach Micheael Cheika with the Wallabies players after the defeat. Picture: AAP

‘Suck it up’: Cheika’s blunt advice for Wallabies

"SUCK it up."

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has told his players to show resilience after their Bledisloe Cup hammering, and believes the 36-0 defeat will not impact their confidence heading to Japan next month.

"I'm terribly disappointed by the result, but be resilient, don't let this get you down," Cheika said.

"Yes, you are going to be sad and disappointed but suck it up and get ready for the next game, and build into the World Cup like we plan to.

 

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after Saturday night’s loss. Picture: Getty Images
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika after Saturday night’s loss. Picture: Getty Images

"Confidence won't be dented [for the World Cup].

Cheika said the team is improved on and off the field compared to last year, despite this being their second heaviest defeat to New Zealand.

"Back home everyone was pumped for the game, excited after game one, so we're disappointed that we weren't able to give them what they expected and make them proud," he said.

"But we've improved a lot since 18."

Cheika and fellow selectors Scott Johnson and Michael O'Connor must now digest this massacre and select 31 players on August 23 for their World Cup campaign.

"We wouldn't have pre-empt anything, we'll sit down early in the week and sort it out," Cheika said.

 

Coach Micheael Cheika with the Wallabies players after the defeat. Picture: AAP
Coach Micheael Cheika with the Wallabies players after the defeat. Picture: AAP

 

"All the teams are there and they're all going to be firing.

"It's going to be tight margins like we saw last time.

"The nature of knockout competitions, you want to only to be focusing on what's coming next."

The Wallabies' inability to score points early in the game when they had the All Blacks under pressure irritated Cheika.

"In order to succeed here we needed put some doubt into the opposition's minds, we needed points," Cheika said.

 

All Blacks captain Keiran Read with the Bledisloe Cup as Wallabies players look on. Picture: AAP
All Blacks captain Keiran Read with the Bledisloe Cup as Wallabies players look on. Picture: AAP

"We were inconsistent at the ruck, which we were strong in last week. We were inconsistent at the scrum which we were strong in last week.

"That inconsistency didn't allow us to get any type of dominance.

"They went try, try after we'd had a good run. We struggled to get back from that."

This was one of the most physically dominant All Blacks performances in recent memory, but Wallabies skipper Michael Hooper said it felt like most Bledisloe clashes.

"It's hard to make comparisons - after every game you're pretty sore," Hooper said.

 

All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara kicks on Saturday night. Picture: Getty Images
All Blacks halfback TJ Perenara kicks on Saturday night. Picture: Getty Images

Four years ago, the Wallabies managed to bounce back from an Eden Park thrashing to make the World Cup final at Twickenham, losing to New Zealand, and they hope to go better in Japan.

"We've had a lot of growth in the team," Hooper said.

Injured lock Rory Arnold will be available for selection, as will flanker David Pocock, who has not played a Test this year due to a calf injury.

Pocock and other candidates will likely be picked against Samoa on September 7 at Bankwest Stadium after the team returns from a bonding camp in New Caledonia.

 

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