Michael Cheika was “pumped” after Australia crushed New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener but warned: “All we’ve done is bought a ticket to Auckland.”
The Wallabies have not lifted the Bledisloe Cup for 17 years, but they have a great opportunity to end that drought after thrashing their trans-Tasman rivals 47-26 in Perth on Saturday.
Reece Hodge scored two of Australia’s six tries and Scott Barrett was sent off on the stroke of half-time after being deemed to have shoulder-charged Michael Hooper in an emphatic win at Optus Stadium.
Head coach Cheika challenged his players to pull off a repeat when they do battle with the world champions at Eden Park next Saturday.
Cheika said: “Pride is something I always have in these players. It was some game because there was plenty of action.
“When you get that atmosphere brewing it makes you want to do better and play better. A few things went our way but I was really pleased for the lads, they have been working hard. It’s a nice little reward for them.”
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He added: “I know we’re all pumped but at the end of the day all we’ve done is bought a ticket to Auckland, that’s it.
“Great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things we’ve got a ticket to go there and take the opportunity we’re going to get given there.”
Cheika knows facing Steve Hansen’s side without home advantage will be a very different proposition.
“We’re trying to work out how we can get around obstacles in games and not lose our way there when obstacles occur. We got through a few tonight and there will be a few presented to us next week as well.
“We won’t have this big Perth crowd behind us but we’ll go with the fact there is a lot of camaraderie in the team. We’ll do our absolute best to get it done.”
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