Rugby Championship

Cheika hails Wallabies' mental toughness

2017-10-03 12:57
Michael Cheika (Gallo)

Cape Town - Wallabies coach Michael Cheika feels his side are getting used to pushing through uncomfortable positions, both physically and mentally.

CLICK: To support South Africa's Rugby World Cup 2023 bid

Australia proved as much in Bloemfontein, throwing counterpunches to every Springboks try in the second half, even as the altitude took hold.

Several players could be seen sucking in the big ones but the fact that they were applying themselves just as well in the last minute as they were in the first was a big tick in Cheika's eyes.

"The squad’s stepping forward in mentality more than anything," Cheika told the Australian Rugby Union's official website.

"They’re starting to get a bit more mentally tough.

"Mentally we’ve got to say, right, this is uncomfortable I’ve got more in me.

"If you look at it in perspective where we’ve been this year, bar (the first) game, where we had to comeback against New Zealand, we’ve been right up there.

"Either winning or losing at the last minute or drawing with a team that is still relatively light on experience.

"I like the group of players we’ve got - we’ll be sticking with them."

The exciting thing, in Cheika's eyes, is that there is still plenty of improvement to come in a team that was inches away from two big overseas wins - in Dunedin and Bloemfontein.

"In the fitness game we stayed in it but I thought we had a lot more in us, especially with the finishers," he said.

"A lot of our guys are coming off a lot of negative criticism in the early part of the season and a lot of blokes probably don’t think... you’ve got to get guys believing.

"I think that’s happening, I do.

"Otherwise when (the Springboks) went past us, they would have kept going, we wouldn’t have been able to come back."

The first chance to build on the draw in Bloemfontein comes in Mendoza on Saturday, a match that would all but lock up second place in The Rugby Championship, should they win.

"We’ve got to get a win there and bank on New Zealand getting a win over here and we could finish second - like we did last year - off the back of a first 40 minutes of The Rugby Championship that was a little bit diabolical," said Cheika.

 "Since then, we’ve got ourselves into a groove where we’re up there.

"Finishing second would be a good reward and then we’ve got to get our eyes on finishing first next year."

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights

Logs
Team P W PTS
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The Springboks' 25-24 defeat to the All Blacks at Newlands was ...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Featured

The 2017/18 PSL season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.