Michael Cheika pleased with Australia's win over New Zealand in Bledisloe Cup opener

Australia head coach Michael Cheika
Australia head coach Michael Cheika

Australia head coach Michael Cheika said his side was pleased with the 47-26 win over New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup opener in Perth last weekend.

Reece Hodge scored a double while Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Marika Koroibete and Kurtley Beale scored a try apiece as Wallabies registered a 21 point victory in the final round of the Rugby Championship.

“A few things went our way, but I was really pleased for the lads. They have been working really hard,” said Cheika.

“I know we are all pumped and everything like that but all we have done is bought a ticket to Auckland.

“That’s what we did. Great atmosphere and great for the players to get the win but in the bigger scheme of things, we have got ourselves a ticket to go there and take the opportunity that we’re going to get given there.

“It was some game as well, there was plenty of action. When you get the atmosphere brewing it makes you want to do better and play better.”

New Zealand suffered a setback when Scott Barrett was red-carded at the stroke of half-time leaving the visitors down to 14-men for the remainder of the second half but Cheika played down the advantage.

“Not a chance. When they have 15 on the field it feels like they have 20, so when they had 14 on the field it still feels like they had 17 or 18,” added Cheika.

“They have threats, and you saw that. It’s not like they weren’t scoring tries.

“They have got so much potency in their team we didn’t even talk about the guy getting sent off at half-time. Not a word. Because we know how good they are and that’s a sucker punch if you start thinking like that.”

Although rugby isn’t a top grossing game like football, the sport has come on leaps and bounds over the last few years and it is no slot games.

Australia and New Zealand will be hoping to shine in a big year for the sport, but before the World Cup in Japan, they will once again lock horns in Auckland on 27th August for the second and final game of the Bledisloe Cup.