Wallabies coach says All Blacks are the world’s best

Australia’s head coach Michael Cheika has admitted that he thinks Rugby Championship
title rivals New Zealand are the best rugby side in the world.

Cheika’s Wallaby side went ahead of New Zealand’s All Blacks in the Rugby Championship
standings and will have home advantage over their Kiwi rivals when the tams
meet in Sydney on August 8.

Both teams have nine points in the standings but Australia are one point better
off in the points differential ahead of the Championship decider in Sydney.

“They (the All Blacks) are the best,” conceded Cheika after two late
tries earned a bonus-point 34-9 second-round victory over disappointing Argentina
Saturday in western city Mendoza.

“It is a little closer this year,” the 2014 Super Rugby winning coach
said, referring to the southern hemisphere rugby pecking order.

“But look at what the All Blacks did in Johannesburg this weekend — I
think they beat South Africa pretty easily in the end.

“New Zealand are the best team in the world by a long way at this stage.”

“It is going to be a big challenge playing them in Sydney because they
are such a good side,” said Cheika.

“We have got to work really hard over the next couple of weeks, plan thoroughly
and ensure we run out at ANZ Stadium ready to make Australian rugby supporters
proud.

“I cannot predict how the game will go, but I know that we will be ready
to show our pride.”

Wallabies skipper and hooker Stephen Moore echoed the views of his coach.

“It is going to be a massive game at our ground in Sydney and we are really
looking forward to facing the All Blacks,” he said.

“They are a quality side for sure, but we have two weeks to study them
and prepare a strategy.”

Australia put a shock loss to Argentina in Mendoza last year behind them by
scoring four tries for an ultimately comfortable victory after leading 8-6 at
half-time.

A try midway through the second half by recalled lock Dean Mumm after an undetected
forward pass put the match beyond the Pumas and centre Tevita Kuridrani and
winger Adam Ashley-Cooper claimed the late tries.

“It is always difficult to come over here and win so we are happy,”
said recently appointed skipper Moore.

“After slipping up in Mendoza last year, tonight (Saturday) was very good
and I am proud of the performance.”

While delighted with two victories as the mid-September kick-off of the World
Cup in England draws near, Cheika must be concerned about the goal-kicking form
of fly-half Bernard Foley.

The recalled playmaker succeeded with only five of nine shots at the posts,
and some of the misses at Estadio Malvinas Argentinas were very kickable.

Bottom of the table with no points and only two tries from two Championship
outings, Argentina are away to third-place South Africa in the final round.

Fly-half Nicolas Sanchez improved on a shocking showing in New Zealand last
weekend and there was some exciting backline running from deep positions.

But while a rugby nation famed for scrummaging did trouble the Wallabies in
that area during the opening half, many line-out wins delivered untidy possession.

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