Cheika building his 'dynasty'
The Waratahs have yet to break their Super Rugby title duck, but Michael Cheika is convinced they are creating a long-lasting dynasty.
The Waratahs have yet to break their Super Rugby title duck, but coach Michael Cheika is convinced they are on the verge of creating a long-lasting dynasty.
Speaking to the media ahead of hosting their first-ever Super Rugby Final, against the Crusaders on Saturday, the outspoken Sydney-based mentor said they are building something will continue to bring success in the future and produce an attacking game that will outlive whatever they do on Saturday.
"For me, as the coach, the things that I will look at, will come later," Cheika said.
"If I can sit the grandstand in 10 years' time, and watch the team playing, and they're still playing the same way with the same competitive spirit and I can say: 'I was a part of building that'.
"That is more the reward that I'm looking for.
"The short-term success is great as well, if you can get those it's always great and a great thing for our supporters, and of course I want to win it, but it's what happens after, for a coach."
Long-suffering New South Wales fans are desperate to see their team hoist the trophy for the first time in the 19-year history of the competition.
However, Cheika has always had his eye on the longer term vision of what he is working towards at the perennially under-performing franchise.
"We need to go through another couple of years of being competitive and strong and laying that foundation, so our young players in our Under-20 team are seeing the sacrifices you have to make the hard work that goes into playing for the Waratahs going forward," Cheika said,
"We've got to go out there on Saturday and make sure people see who we are, and we're very clear with our identity, and play our style of game.
Cheika said he is banking on a proven formula, as he strives to complete a feat of overseeing title triumphs in both Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
In 2009 Cheika guided Ireland's Leinster to the European Cup, the Northern Hemisphere's version of Super Rugby.
On Saturday, Cheika can add the crown of the Southern Hemisphere's premier franchise/provincial competition to that.
He is adopting a similar lead-up to the one that paid dividends five years ago.
Cheika, who is in his second season with NSW, noted parallels between the two campaigns.
Both Leinster and the Waratahs vanquished a fierce domestic rival in their respective semifinal to book a showdown with a celebrated and consistent trophy-winning team from another country.
"In that season we [Leinster] had to overcome a domestic rival [Munster] before we went on to [English club] Leicester, which had a rich heritage in winning European cups," Cheika recalled.
"We just relaxed a little bit that week, earlier in the week.
"Maybe on the second day, start to say 'right, let's forget about all that other stuff and focus on what we need to do to beat this team', then do the best we can on the Saturday.
"That's pretty much the chart we're trying to follow here."
Sources: The Daily Telegraph & AAP