Sydney – Coach Michael Cheika said on Sunday perseverance was the key to success for the Wallabies after their back-to-back losses to the All Blacks, adding that the defeats should serve as “watershed moments” to trigger changes.
Australia have now lost six of their past seven games, and ceded the Bledisloe Cup to New Zealand once again after the 40-12 defeat in Auckland Saturday and the 38-13 thrashing in Sydney last week.
“A few little tweaks but perseverance definitely, it‘s not always instant gratification,” Cheika told reporters after returning with the team to Sydney.
“Sometimes you‘ve got to use these ones, the harder times, as watershed moments to make some changes in a certain direction, because they were hard games to lose but we‘ve been here before and we‘ve bounced back and will again.”
In the Rugby Championships in the past two years, Australia lost the first two games but finished strongly.
Cheika said the Wallabies needed to perform better at key moments.
“It wasn‘t like we just closed off for a half of footy – it was the key moments that we didn‘t react to,” he said, adding that improvements in those areas “will give us a better outcome”.
While there have been questions about Cheika‘s position as coach, he brushed aside such concerns and repeated that he was focused on the team.
“None of the questions that I get asked about that stuff are ever going to affect me or hurt me in that way,” he added.
“We‘ve done a lot of work in building the team, building the depth of the team. We‘re going to continue to build that, going forward.”
Australia‘s next game is against South Africa in Brisbane on September 8.