Sydney – Australia coach Michael Cheika says the Wallabies will be driven by the pain of last week’s defeat to England when they meet in Saturday’s second Test, but are feeling no great pressure despite needing to win to keep the series alive.
Victory for England at Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium would give them a first series victory in Australia after they recovered from a 10-0 deficit to win the opener 39-28 in Brisbane last weekend.
“Of course we want to bounce back,” Cheika told reporters on Friday. “It hurts losing. It hurts a lot. There’s no brushing that away and that pain still sits inside you. That’s usually what drives you.”
After unexpectedly taking Australia to the World Cup final last year, the England defeat presents the first major roadbump Cheika has encountered in his stewardship of the Wallabies.
The 49-year-old, though, will not be changing the approach to the game he requires from his players.
“I think I’ve said it many times before… there’s no need to feel pressure in this game because there’s real serious things going on out there and obviously we want to win,” he said.
“We’ve got the physical part, the accuracy of our play, our kicking, all that stuff and then we’re fully committed to the game and everyone wants to enjoy us playing that way, and that’s what we want to do.”
After suffering at the hands of French referee Romain Poite in the scrum and breakdown last week, Cheika said he would have someone sitting in on a pre-match chat with Saturday’s official, South African Craig Joubert.
Cheika was keen to stress, however, that it was more a matter of taking advantage of an opportunity allowed him under the rules rather than a desire to clear anything up about the officiating before the test.
“We saw where we went wrong, so we know what we need to fix in our thing,” he added.
“We’ve got to clear our own things up before we start worrying about that. You want to be in a situation not to even give penalties away and not even leave those things to interpretation.
“Once we do that, it won’t be an issue for us.”
Cheika also finalised his bench on Friday, opting for extra backline cover from the first Test with the addition of lively outside back Luke Morahan, who is in line to make his second test appearance four years after his first.