Rugby World Cup 2019: Wallabies coach Michael Cheika upbeat despite All Blacks thrashing

Wallabies coach Michael Cheika insists he's "not worried" about his team's confidence after a 36-0 smashing at the hands of the All Blacks in the Bledisloe Cup decider in Auckland. 

Belief was high in the Wallabies camp after their record 47-26 win over the All Blacks in Perth last week, but Cheika's men were unable to repeat that performance, instead crashing to a humiliating defeat. 

Apart from the injury-enforced change of Adam Coleman for Rory Arnold at lock, Cheika kept the same line-up for the return Bledisloe Cup match, while Steve Hansen made five changes to his starting side. 

Incoming wingers George Bride and Sevu Reece both made a positive impact, while Sonny Bill Williams proved tough to handle in his first test back from injury.  

With one game against Samoa on September 7 before the Rugby World Cup, Cheika says they have to take this loss on the chin. 

"Confidence won't be dented," Cheika said. 

"Obviously disappointment is there, back home everyone was pumped for the game, they were excited after game one, and we're so disappointed that we weren't able to give those people what they expected at the end of the day and make them proud of us. 

"We've improved a lot since 2018, on the field and off it.

"We have to take this on the chin and make sure that if this is going to happen to you, you understand one or two key things that you should take forward, so we can be successful at the World Cup."

For a period in the first half the Wallabies looked threatening, but the All Blacks continually extinguished anything thrown at them. 

Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper after the 36-0 loss.
Michael Hooper and Adam Ashley-Cooper after the 36-0 loss. Photo credit: AAP

In the end, New Zealand outscored Australia five tries to zero, as the Aussies were held scoreless for the first time since a 22-0 defeat to the All Blacks at Eden Park in 2012. 

Cheika felt like his team failed to make the most of their chances in the first half, which included two missed penalty goals. 

"It's pretty raw, it's pretty close to the finish, but we soaked up a bit of pressure early on, and we started to get a fair bit of momentum," Cheika added. 

"We got a good run in the game, and in order to succeed here we had to put some doubt into the opposition's mind.

"We needed to put some points on the board there, and we got close on several occasions, both with some kicks and with the ability to score a try, to create more doubt there, which we didn't do.

"Then in the first transition of that momentum we took a try, and then I'd say that settled things down for their side and then we were inconsistent at the ruck, which was an area where we were strong last week and also inconsistent at the scrum.

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


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