Michael Cheika has the Wallabies working their tails off in preparation for their Bledisloe Cup Test against the All Blacks, but the benefit of so doing might be hard to quantify when the outcome will in all probability be business-as-usual, with the New Zealand squad winning yet again.
One of the Wallabies’ players, Nick Phipps, reports that Cheika is hoping to hone the physical aspect of the Wallabies to such a keen edge that he can then go about the tricky proposition of getting the Aussie side into the correct mental state of mind.
Cheika was actually cheeky enough to question whether or not Australia’s best were fit enough to play the style of rugby that he wanted them to play.
You rugby players know what that means. Running, running and more running. Right into the ground.
Thursday and Friday past, the players were engaged in three-a-day workouts. If NFL players were asked to do such a thing, the hue and cry would be loud and long, as they already do much whining about two-a-day drills that will soon be part of their regimen as the NFL prepares to open training camps.
The Wallabies were then found sprinting up the hills at Sydney Park to the point of exhaustion.
Cheika should know by know that if he wants to beat the Kiwis, he has to have Kiwi players, which would be hard to do, given the circumstances of the Bledisloe Cup competition.
Perhaps he should have the squad swim to New Zealand and back for the August 26 Test in Dunedin. It is doubtful that holding home ground for the first Test in Sydney on 19 August, or the series decider in Brisbane, should it actually come down to that, on 21 October.
Chika will have extra time to work with some of the players on Australia’s squad, as the Brumbies were eliminated from the Super Rugby finals.