Cheika shows Wallabies his darker sideOn 01/31/2019 by admin
Wallabies players are discovering the darker side of Michael Cheika as they look to rebound from the first loss of his reign.
Cheika is a coach who wears his heart on his sleeve and the disappointment of last week’s upset loss to France is being felt by his players on and off the training pitch.
Australia are looking to bounce back against Ireland at Lansdowne Road on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT) and lock Rob Simmons admitted players previously uninitiated with Cheika had experienced a different side of him in Dublin.
“He told us from day one that he’s emotional about everything,” Simmons told AAP on Tuesday.
“If you’re winning there’s good emotions and if you’re losing, he’ll definitely let you know.
“We were probably expecting it. We’ve heard it from the other (Waratahs) guys.
“He doesn’t do it to try and make anyone angry or sad or put anyone down, he just wants the best out of us and he hates losing.”
A focus on intense, at times brutal, training has been a hallmark under Cheika on the three weeks of the spring tour so far.
But Simmons said the players were unsurprisingly being worked even harder this week following a loss.
“It’s a point he made to us at the start of the week – we’ve lost now so so what we’ve got to do to be better is step up every little thing,” Simmons said.
“We’ve got to make sure we’re better and leave no page unturned and keep moving forward.”
While next weekend’s spring tour finale against England at Twickenham looms large for the Wallabies, this weekend’s Test represents arguably the toughest test of the five-week campaign.
The Six Nations champions rolled South Africa a fortnight ago to climb above the Wallabies into third on the IRB rankings and the trickery with which they produced the victory has Australia on high alert.
With their rolling maul causing havoc in attack, the Irish defended the South African maul to great effect by opting not to contest it on several occasions.
Standing off the maul is not a revolutionary tactic but Simmons said it highlighted Ireland’s intelligent and creative approach.
“Headed by (lock) Paul O’Connell, they’re pretty crafty in those ways,” Simmons said.
“It keeps you guessing and make you uncertain about things.
“We just have to be smart and make sure everyone’s’s on the same page.”
Cheika will announce his side to face Ireland on Wednesday, with several new faces, including centre Matt Toomua and winger Henry Speight, pushing for inclusion and recalled utility Kurtley Beale fighting for a place on the bench.
Ireland suffered a blow on Tuesday with New Zealand-born centre Jared Payne, who impressed on debut against the Springboks, ruled out with a foot sprain.