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New boss Cheika ready to face flak
28 Nov 2014 15:03
Michael Cheika is ready to "weather the storm" if Australia slip to their worst northern hemisphere tour since 2005 with defeat to England tomorrow.
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The new Australia boss said he has had plenty of experience of criticism early in coaching stints and is ready to shrug off any criticism of his embryonic Wallabies tenure.
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"I have been involved in too many teams where I have been slagged off early days and have been able to come back later on," said Cheika.
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"So I know you just have to weather that storm."
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The former Leinster coach dabbled in a spot of mind games over his side's scrum, claiming England will have the "more tactical" set-piece.
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England forwards coach Graham Rowntree said he does not "trust" Australia earlier this week, tipping the Wallabies to mask "perceived set-piece weakness".
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Cheika responded by hotly denying any suggestion his side try to "milk penalties" at the scrum.
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Australia are bidding to avoid a third straight loss this weekend, following slender defeats in Ireland and France, which came after a 33-28 win over Wales in Cardiff.
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Dual Waratahs and Wallabies head coach Cheika only assumed the Australia role in the wake of Ewen McKenzie's resignation at the tail end of the Rugby Championship.
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The 47-year-old has had to mop up the mess from the Kurtley Beale text message scandal that led to business manager Di Patston's resignation.
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Only then could Cheika kick-start the process of building his new regime, with Beale reintegrated after a hefty fine and ban: but the new boss is refusing to explain away his side's patchy form.
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"I am not an excuse maker: I am not saying we are doing this tour just to develop and grow and all that business," said Cheika.
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"I understand what is required around results, but I can't make the results come by just snapping my fingers either.
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"It is about me knowing what I need to do and prepping the team and then backing the team to try to bring that game out every time they play.
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"Obviously it has been a short period of time so everyone is getting the gist of what we want to do together and believing in that.
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"By believing in that and not panicking when someone wants to drop that tag on you, saying 'this is what I believe in', that's when the results will come.
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"I am a firm believer in that."
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