Michael Cheika (Gallo)
London - With no time
to waste, the mind games are already in full swing ahead of next week's Rugby
World Cup final between Australia and New Zealand.
No sooner had the
Wallabies charged into the final with four unanswered tries in Sunday's 29-15
semi-final win over Argentina, than they were talking down their chances.
Few teams ever want
the extra pressure of going into a final as favourites and Australia coach
Michael Cheika wasted no time telling reporters why the odds were with the All
obviously the world's number one, aren't they, and they're there for a
reason," he said.
"I think we've
only beaten them once out of the last 10 (matches) so I think they'll be
feeling pretty good that they've got our measure.
"It's going to be
up to us to do something special, do something extra to just to be
Cheika said the All
Blacks would also have a physical advantage over his team because they had
enjoyed a much smoother path to the final.
While the Wallabies
had to battle hard to win their pool after being drawn with England and Wales,
then won a heart-stopping quarter-final with Scotland, the All Blacks cruised
through their group and romped to a record victory over France in the quarters.
New Zealand did
survive an epic battle with South Africa in the semis but Cheika said his
players would have to let the occasion lift them for one more effort.
"New Zealand have
had a very different path to us to here and obviously they'll be feeling a
little bit differently in their preparation," Cheika said.
"But it's a World
Cup final and the adrenalin's going to be pumping so I think anyone who's a
little bit sore is going to forget all about soreness when that whistle
Despite New Zealand's
superior head to head record, Australia beat the All Blacks as recently as
August to win this year's Rugby Championship.
They also drew with
them last year and again in 2012 but Cheika said his team still faced a huge
challenge to beat the defending champions.
"Every game at
this level is so hard and you've got a team like New Zealand who have many
threats," Cheika said.
"They're a very
well drilled side, they have an excellent coach, they're very well organised so
they know what they're doing all the time on the field from all situations,
whether it's kicking or running or whatever.
"I'd be lying if
I said we didn't believe in ourselves to get there and do our absolute best. I
don't want to look back at things, if I start looking back at that one win I
might have to look back at the other nine or so losses."