With the last 8 confirmed and no rugby to distract ourselves midweek, the Rugby world returns to ‘mind games’ with Jones Vs Cheika taking centre stage.
The cancellation means that England will have had a two week break between games heading into the Australia clash, which Jones believes has provided them with the perfect preparation
“I saw he was saying that that would be an advantage and that the typhoon gods were smiling on them so I suppose they better win,” Cheika said post-match.
“They’ve had the best preparation according to the coach so they better go out there and win if that’s the best possible preparation.
“We’ll see how we go.”
He also rejected any talk about England’s recent dominance over Australia, which now stretches to 6 straight wins, believing that it means nothing when it comes to Saturday.
“Well, mate, I don’t know what relevance it’ll have,” he said.
“I don’t know if it’ll have any, don’t really care to be honest if it’s got any relevance, because the only relevance is Saturday so that’s pretty much about it.
“Doesn’t matter all the different things, who’s had a week off, who’s had a week on, who’s been resting, who hasn’t.
“It’ll all come down to what happens on kick-off.”
Wallabies are also showing signs of unrest with players have showing their frustration at being asked ‘stupid’ questions being asked by Australian rugby journalists, with Lukhan Sunk-Loto and Tolu Latu scoffing at two questions asked.
According to rugby.com.au, Sunk-Loto didn’t tale kindly to being asked if he believed Australia would beat England, Sunk-Loto responded:
“Because we can, why not?,” he said.
“We all believe it, we’re not just going to sit here and go, ‘Oh, don’t think we believe it,’ of course we can. We all believe that we can do whatever we want to do, if we put our minds to it.”
Turning to the journos, Sunk-Loto said:
“Do you believe we can beat England?”
“Not sure,” said the journos.
“Really?,” Sunk-Loto replied, “That’s your problem then. We believe we can beat them.”
And then, an English journo asked Latu if Cheika was a “bully”.
“Stupid question,” he said.
“To ask it, I don’t know, it’s different for yous guys and different for us. For us, it comes across as a stupid question so that’s why we’re all laughing.
“Obviously, you’re asking us a question that we think is a complete joke so if you’re going to ask us questions like that, we’ll take it as a joke and throw it back at you.”
“To us, he’s our head coach, of course he cares, he cares about each and every one of us. Simple as that.”
Supporting Latu’s point, Sunk-Loto answered:
“It takes it off us, he is putting himself out there to be shot, he’s protecting us as every good coach would do,” he said.
“Not going to let your players hang out to dry, we’d all do the same for each other.”
Make of it what you will!
England in the meantime hold a full blooded training session to make up for not playing France.
In none World Cup news, the phony Premiership Cup Wars are over (for now) and the Gallagher Premiership starts on Friday the same way it did last season with Bristol Bears Vs Bath Rugby.
What are you hopes and expectations for the forthcoming season?
On Bath, question that looms large is can they build on last season, especially with their main men absent for the early period of the season?
Having avoided making any high-profile signings, instead promoting from within, Hooper will also be thrown in at the deep end and how he copes with the demanding rigours of the Gallagher Premiership Rugby season will go a long way to deciding Bath’s fate.
With injuries mounting up from the Premiership Rugby Cup, Hooper has stated he could yet be tempted to plunge back into the transfer market as his side prepare for a tough start to the season in the form of two consecutive West Country derbies against Bristol Bears and Exeter Chiefs.
The Bath forums are not favourable or united behind Hoopers first season in charge. ‘Hooper Out’ being a daily topic of conversation before a ball has been passed in anger. Thus it feels like a season of survival.
My guess at our strongest team for the Bears.
1.Obano 2. Dunn. 3. Stuart 4. Douglas 5 Ewels (C) 6. Ellis 7. Bayliss 8. Mercer 9. Chudley 10. Burns 11. Brew 12. Roberts 13. Clark 14. Roko 15. Homer
16. Batty 17. Boyce 18. Judge 19. Stooke 20. Williams 21. Cook 22. RP 23. Wight
Finally, please write your predicted table come the end of the regular season and by doing so enter the Tom and Deano Cup Challenge. Fred is the Chairman of the Board and will happily accept any straglers who haven’t have the courage to predict the table!