Waratahs face 'massive war with themselves'
March 16, 2013
Michael Cheika is sure to be putting his players through stiff sessions on the training pitch © Getty Images
New South Wales Waratahs are carrying "a lot of anxiety" built up over past seasons and face a "massive war with themselves" to get out of their early-season hole, coach Michael Cheika said after the depressing loss to the Cheetahs on Friday night.
The Waratahs produced a spate of basic errors in their 27-26 loss to the Cheetahs in front of a disappointing 12,263 crowd at Allianz Stadium.
They conceded a try in the opening minute but fought back well with tries from Peter Betham and Adam Ashley-Cooper to lead by three points at the break. The Cheetahs had the final say, however, a try from Raymond Rhule condemning the Waratahs to their third loss in four matches this season.
"Obviously we're very disappointed," Cheika fumed at the post-match press conference.
"We're making a lot of good play and then the ball was getting stripped. We made the same mistakes over again, they chipped the ball over and we're not in a position to stop that; OK, one time maybe but not two or three. You add up all those little things then you end up losing a game you should have won."
Cheika warned his players to brace for more heavy criticism following their latest loss, and challenged them to face their demons in order to turn things around. "We are obviously going to be heavily criticised and first and most importantly we put ourselves in a difficult position on the table," he said.
The Waratahs suffered another depressing loss, against the Cheetahs (video available only in Australia)%]
The Waratahs collected one bonus point for finishing within seven points, and they remain third on the Australian conference ladder on nine points.
"We're a team that's carrying a lot of anxiety as it is from past seasons so we're going to get a lot more of that now," Cheika said.
"And we have to have the resolve to understand that we're going to be in a massive war with ourselves predominantly, and that we have to have the courage and the application and make the sacrifices to get out of it, because no-one thinks we can."
Asked if his players possessed the fortitude to turn things around, Cheika replied tersely: "Well, we're going to find out aren't we?"
"I am bored of hearing 'I can't fault the effort'. Let us take that for granted and look for some quality." John Taylor writes
Reports comparing the 2014 Wallabies with their rabble-like predecessors of 2005 are unfair and self-serving, Greg Growden reports
Wales did the All Blacks a favour with their best effort against New Zealand for many years, for 68 minutes at Millennium Stadium, Craig Dowd writes
In the wake of another perfect November series, Monday Maul talks to NZRU CEO Steve Tew about the constant demand for perfection