“We have not performed in the last two games but that shouldn’t take away from our good work over the last three years”.
“But from my point of view, my priority is to get the team ready for Uruguay and I am not in control of anything else”. We have got the job done and we have won and we can look forward to the game next week.
England’s Welsh nightmare last week may have caused many fans sleepless nights but Saracens centre Brad Barritt insists the chance to right those wrongs against Australia has ensured the players haven’t been down in the dumps.
I said last week that I thought England would win a tight game but I certainly wouldn’t have gone the way Stuart Lancaster did with his selection.
Only once have bonus points decided the outcome of a pool – in 2011 when France edged out Tonga and went on to reach the final – but should England beat Australia today it could come down to such slender margins again.
“The past experiences of our games against Australia will count for nothing on Saturday. Australians love nothing more than to get stuck in when they’re on top”.
“We’re doing our best for our country”.
“We are going to have to improve on the first two matches to be able to compete with England“, he said. “We know the pain and how hard the game is going to be”.
Ahead of the must-win game, Cipriani – who was not selected in the 31-man squad despite an impressive cameo in the 25-20 warm-up defeat by France at the Stade de France in August – has given his contemporaries a shot of confidence.
Adam Ashley-Cooper, the Wallabies winger, however responded with a cutting rebuke to the Sale Sharks player.
“I gained a hell of a lot. One of the coaches, Stephen Larkham, who’s a slightly random type of fellow, just made a decision to turn it on at training one day earlier this week”, Cheika said. “He can say what he likes, he wouldn’t ever be a part of our team”.
Lancaster dredged England out of the doldrums after a bad 2011 World Cup campaign punctuated by ill-discipline and poor form.
“In terms of our preparation this week it’s been spot on, the guys came back with a definite point to prove and there was a hunger within the camp”. Traditionally there’s always been a great rivalry with England. “But it’s a bit hard for a Kiwi to be jumping up and cheering for the Aussies so I think I will be quite neutral this weekend”.
“It’s been there throughout my career and I’ve really enjoyed that battle, particularly here at Twickenham“.