Monday 19 August 2019

Cheika: You can't win a final without scoring tries

Australia head coach Michael Cheika. Photo: Getty
Australia head coach Michael Cheika. Photo: Getty

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

Michael Cheika is sticking to his all-out-attacking policy for tomorrow's series decider in Sydney.

Australia have scored five tries to Ireland's two over the 160 minutes between the teams so far and the former Leinster coach won't change his approach for the finale.

Cheika has plenty of finals experience, having guided Leinster to their first Heineken Cup and led Australia to the 2015 World Cup showpiece and with this series poised beautifully at 1-1, he is bringing a similar mindset to the Allianz Stadium.

"I think we'll be less conservative," he said after making two changes to the Wallaby team that started both Tests so far.

"You can't win finals without scoring tries and playing footy, I'm a true believer in that.

"They did well last week to restrict us from doing that and we'll be looking to try and open up this week. I think we have in all the games, with a bit more success in others, but the last thing you do when the finals come is shrink - you want to go out there and play.

"I'm not used to giving my team talks out in the public domain.

"But rest assured they'll know exactly what's required to win this match. It's pretty clear that there's been a very physical battle in the first two games and that will lay the foundation and the platform - like it does in all contact sports - to us being able to attack and score points, so our work ethic and physicality will be important.

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"But the chest-beating only goes so far too, you've got to be very accurate at the attacking ruck to make sure that they're not in on the ball and we've got to be very strong in our defensive line because they'll present and present and present as a forward pack carrying the ball at us all game."

Nick Phipps has come into the side in place of Will Genia who broke his arm last week, while Caleb Timu loses out Lokhan Tui who comes into the back-row with Ned Hanigan on the bench.

Their inclusion will enhance Australia's lineout after they sacrificed some height in their back-row for Timu's carrying game, but the Reds newcomer couldn't have an impact in the first two Tests and was replaced at half-time last week.

Cheika is expecting a similar effort from Ireland and has spoken again about being able to handle the Irish carrying tactic of using players 'latching' on to ball-carriers to enhance their ability to win collisions.

"They're always going to bring physicality," Cheika said.

"They do that thing, where they get the two players connected beforehand and they try to ram one through the other. They've been good, they're big and strong.

"They've been tackling in, folding in, rolling in the way because they want to slow our ball down so you need a physical presence to be able to do that and we've just got to get there before them.

"We've got to not let them there and if they're there we've got to get them out of the way with whatever means we need."

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