Wallabies coach Cheika impressed with the Boks
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika said the Springboks are in a far better space this season and they've more than righted the wrongs of 2016.Cheika has yet to drop a game against the Springboks at home but his team needed every ounce of their defensive resolve to prevent South Africa from claiming their first win in Australia since 2013.The end result was 23-all draw that didn't quite satisfy Cheika but with his team slowly recovering from their two opening defeats to the All Blacks, it was better than a loss.
“Allister's done a great job. I remember speaking to him during the tour and he was telling me about the things he's done, not only with the team but to influence the Super Rugby teams. “We saw how the South African Super Rugby teams went up a level this year. They've got a strong team and they played well in this game and in the couple of games against Argentina. They'll go to New Zealand full of confidence,” Cheika said.Cheika reckoned his team were full value for a win despite the Boks not letting them out of their sights. Australia took a 20-10 lead after Tatafu Polota-Nau crossed the chalk in the 47th minute.
A gutsy Springbok side with far more resilience as compared to last year's flaky unit chipped and chivvied away at the deficit but somehow lacked the bottle to see the fixture through. Cheika though felt his side were making positive strides after their two reverses against New Zealand.They were clouted 54-34 in Sydney on August 19 but played their part in the epic 35-29 loss in Dunedin a week later.“It's never a clean path or about going in one direction. It's just believing in the things that your team does and not worrying about the outcome or the result.
"When you look at the score and it's 20-10, you don't have to worry about the result. The opposition needs to score and you just need to keep doing what you're doing,” Cheika said.“It's about staying in the game and that needs that little bit of maturity this team needs to accrue as they get the experience together.”