Australia warmed up for their eagerly-anticipated crunch match against England with a 65-3 demolition of Uruguay at Villa Park.
“We’re lucky to be in a situation where we’ve got players like those guys and [Pocock and Hooper] who are very influential with what they do on the field with their form”.
A Wales win over Fiji on Thursday and an Australian win on Saturday would end England’s World Cup involvement before the quarter-finals. There’s no point playing a fancy game in the pools because in the knock-outs it’ll be all about kicking, mauling and scrummaging.
“This is everything to me, it’s everything to the other players, to the staff – get behind us and back us because we are doing everything we can to give the best account of ourselves at the weekend and I’m sure we will”.
Cheika, the only coach to have won both a European Cup and a Super Rugby title – the former with Irish province Leinster and the latter with the New South Wales Waratahs – said rugby teams had the capacity to regroup, even in the space of just seven days.
“When I came overseas I became unavailable to be selected for the Wallabies and I never thought I would play for the Wallabies again, let alone have the opportunity to play a couple of Tests or a World Cup“.
Prop Scott Sio said the fact that the Wallabies had put out two different teams for their two games was great for competition for places. Another thing that impressed me about them against England was their scrum.
The Australians ran in the first of six second half tries when Drew Mitchell went over for the first of two tries – that makes him the leading all time Rugby World Cup try scorer for Australia.
His pass was too high and Mitchell fumbled with the line gaping and it was not always a fluid performance from the Wallabies.
“Sean McMahon’s initial selection was for a certain reason and he’s certainly bringing that and he’s fulfilling his role within the team and when he gets his opportunity to play for Australia he needs to cherish that because not everyone gets that chance”, Cheika added. I’ll go back and sit down with them and have a look at my game.
“They tried really hard, we really wanted to score a try but we couldn’t”.
But Cheika will have to come down firm on a team he knows will gel well in their next encounter against England on Saturday.
World Cup rules say any player who gets three yellow cards at the tournament will face a judiciary hearing and possible suspension for “persistent” offending, but Cooper is a long way from the outcome.
Uruguay, ranked 19th in the world and boasting just four professional players, struggled on gamely throughout the match at Villa Park, but could not build on their opening 54-9 defeat by Wales.