MASTER motivator Michael Cheika has revealed his own inspiration as he resorts to brainwashing the Wallabies into believing they can conquer the mighty All Blacks and finally return the Bledisloe Cup to Australia.
Subscribing to the “disagree and commit” mantra made famous by billionaire Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Cheika has dismissed Australia’s diabolical start to the Super Rugby season as “insignificant” in the context of genuine trans-Tasman supremacy.
Any optimism might seem fanciful after 15 years of trans-Tasman heartache and a collective none-from-12 strike rate for Australia’s five provincial teams this season against Kiwi powerhouses.
But Cheika has emerged from a three-day camp upbeat after indoctrinating his Wallabies into believing that — against all odds — they can bring down the world champions in this year’s three-Test series.
“Our players are getting heavily criticised at the moment around their performances and I want to make them believe in themselves,” he said.
And that’s exactly what Cheika did this week when he assembled a 48-man train-on squad.
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“Sometimes that’s what happens — your performance is down and you’ve got to get out of it and we want to help them with that, to get those guys back into form,” he said.
Cheika is heartened by the coaches of the Brumbies, NSW Waratahs, Queensland Reds, Western Force and Melbourne Rebels pulling together and pushing the Wallaby ideal.
“That’s what we’ve got to do more of. I’ve seen a lot of everyone throwing grenades left, right and centre and that’s not going to help rugby here at all,” he said.
“I also know how quickly it can change as well because I’ve been there.
“The year we won the European Cup (with Leinster), there was a game we played in the south of France that we lost, we played pretty average and chaps were calling for my head.
“Sometimes it goes pear-shaped (but), not even three months later, we were European champions.
“You’ve got to believe in people and believe in what they’re going to do.
“So I believe in my staff and we believe with our other coaches that are with the state teams, they believe in their players, we believe in their players and together we do that.”
Cheika understands why Wallabies fans might be despairing, but is hopeful his dogged commitment to vibrant ball-in-hand rugby can restore hope for long-suffering supporters.
“We’ve got a certain way we’re going to play in the jersey this year,” he said.
“We toyed around with a couple of things last year in what we looked at, and tested a few things, and we’re very clear on how we want to play and the cause we want to play for.
“We went around and saw everyone about that at the start of the year and we reinforced it now because maybe some of the points haven’t been picked up with the Wallaby group of players.
“That doesn’t mean that you just jettison those ideas because that’s what we do too much of. I’m not letting this go.
“This is what we’re doing. This is how we’re going to perform on the field or these are the things that we’re looking for.
“I’m just not going to let it go. I’m never going to let it go until we play like that.”
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Originally published as Cheika reveals mindgames to reclaim Bledisloe
SOURCE: newsnow sport