RUGBY WORLD CUP: Michael Cheika admits Australia will need “something extra” to beat New Zealand in final

Australia head coach Michael Cheika before Sunday's semi-final
Australia head coach Michael Cheika before Sunday's semi-final


Michael Cheika has challenged Australia to produce “something extra just to be competitive” in the World Cup final against defending champions New Zealand.

Head coach Cheika insists silverware rivals the All Blacks think they have the Wallabies’ number, ahead of Saturday’s showpiece clash at Twickenham.

Adam Ashley-Cooper’s hat-trick and an intercept score from Rob Simmons crushed ever-ambitious Argentina in Sunday’s semi-final, the Wallabies triumphant 29-15 in London.

Cheika refused to discuss the merits of South Africa boss Heyneke Meyer branding the current All Blacks the best team in rugby’s history, but still labelled Steve Hansen’s men favourites.

“Well you’ve got to go back into the history annals to talk on that,” said Cheika, when asked if the All Blacks are the best of all time.

“They are obviously the world’s number one aren’t they.

“We’ve only beaten them once in the last 10 matches.

“So they’ll be feeling they’ve got our measure and it’s going to be up to us to do something special, something extra just to be competitive.

“So we’ll see how we go.

“We’ve got to improve massively from what we did today, to even be in the hunt next week.

“We’ll pick two or three things and try to make those things better.

“When you’ve got a team like New Zealand with so many threats, who are so well-drilled and have such a great coach you have to be working hard all the time.

“You have to believe in your own way of playing.

“We know we’re going to have to improve again.

“New Zealand have had a very different path from us to here.

“They will be feeling a little bit differently in their preparation.

“But it’s a World Cup final and the adrenaline’s going to be pumping and anyone who’s a little bit sore will forget all about soreness next week.”