Super Rugby round four
Michael Cheika 'sick' but won't alter approach
March 10, 2013
The Brumbies were far too good for the Waratahs
New South Wales Waratahs coach Michael Cheika won't change his approach despite his new attacking game plan yielding no tries in his side's ugly 35-6 Super Rugby drubbing by the Brumbies.
"I feel pretty sick really," was Cheika's immediate response after Saturday night's game at Canberra Stadium. "We didn't work hard enough off the ball and our hunger had to be more consistent over 80 minutes to stay in the contest."
The Waratahs have just one win from three matches and next face a buoyant Cheetahs side coming off an impressive 36-19 away win over the Highlanders before taking on the resurgent Blues.
Cheika attributed some of the blame for the loss on "growing pains" in implementing his new plan, before adding that he would stick to his guns.
"What do you reckon, play a couple of months and then throw the baby out," he said. "Anyone who is looking for a short-term fix is in the wrong game. This is about being sure about what we're doing, being sure about who we are and running with it."
Cheika refused to attribute his side's poor performance to the absence of injured No.8 Wycliff Palu and the 13th-minute hamstring injury to hooker Tatafu Polota-Nau.
"We have good enough players to be in that contest," he said. "I'm not going to say to win, because the Brumbies are a good team. But all players were good enough to make that a contest so the loss of anyone shouldn't make a difference."
Cheika thought the Waratahs played much better in the second half before giving away a length-of-the-field bonus-point try to Brumbies replacement Robbie Coleman.
"A few things went against us at times and we didn't have it in us to get back into the game," he said. "We tried but we couldn't get the pace of the game up enough to be successful."
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