SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australia coach Michael Cheika said the Wallabies would not be getting carried away despite running up their highest ever score against the world champion All Blacks in a 47-26 win at Perth Stadium on Saturday.
Even if New Zealand lock Scott Barrett was sent off just before halftime, there was plenty to like about the Wallabies performance as they ran in six tries and secured back-to-back Rugby Championship wins for the first time since 2016.
That they were able to do it in front of a sellout crowd of more than 61,000 was particularly pleasing for Cheika, who has watched as Australian rugby has struggled for good news stories this year after the sacking of Israel Folau.
The record win could not have come at a better time with the World Cup just six weeks away but Cheika, who led the Wallabies to the final in 2015, said there was plenty of work yet to do.
“It’s a building process, build a little bit, build a game, build a score and try and build a season,” he said.
“We know we’ll have obstacles along the way but we’ve just got to try and get around them.
“We just want to try and understand that when obstacles come up, there’s always a way round it. That’s one of the most important things in footie, whether the obstacles are in your own head or via the opposition.”
The victory keeps alive their hopes of wresting back the Bledisloe Cup from the All Blacks for the first time since 2002 next week but only if they can break an Eden Park hoodoo that goes back to 1986.
Kurtley Beale, who had a fine match in the number 15 jersey Folau made his own for six years, said the Wallabies knew the job was only half done despite a “really special performance”.
“The All Blacks are a very special team, they’ve got the hunger in the belly and despite the red card, they really threw everything at us and you’ve got to respect that,” the fullback said.
“We know it’s not over yet, and we still need that win next week to get that Bledisloe Cup back.”
(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Christian Radnedge)