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Cheika under no pressure, Pocock wants honesty

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    25 Aug 2016     Getty Images

The Bledisloe Cup for 2016 goes on the line in the Investec Rugby Championship Test as Australia look to turn around a 42-8 thumping in Sydney at the weekend.

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Pulver said there was no pressure on Cheika or the side after the loss.

"Michael Cheika's our coach right through[to] the [2019] World Cup and he's a world-class coach. The elite level of rugby things ebb and flow and that's what we're seeing here.

"Our boys will fight. I'm confident this Saturday night we'll do a lot better," he said.

Pulver said like all fans he preferred to see his side win and he was disappointed to see Australian fans leaving the ground early in Sydney.

"That's why it hurts. There is an awful lot of pride that goes into the preparation of these teams and last Saturday night we really did not represent the country well," he said.

Pulver said the criticism of calling players back from overseas, known as the 'Giteau Law' in Australia, was not a factor.



He said it was a good policy and he supported Cheika's approach.

It was a case of trying to get a balance between having a team strong enough to win games while having a development pathway to bring elite talent through.

When young players were able to mix and be mentored by some of those experienced players it was priceless for the Wallaby programme, Pulver said.

Pocock said it was a case of being honest about where the side fell short, taking a good look at that and then training to improve the situation.

"I feel like we've been preparing well and we'll just have to change a few things and do it better," he said.

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Pocock won seven turnovers in Sydney but couldn't impact on the outcome.

"They're a great back row – really well-balanced and really complement each other," he said of Sam Cane, Kieran Read and Jerome Kaino.

As for his partnership with Michael Hooper as a two-pronged flanker arrangement he said he would leave assessment of its worth to others.

"I love playing alongside Mick. We get along well off the field and he's a player you love playing alongside because you know what you're going to get.

"You know how hard he goes, prepares well and he shows it in games. As far as how it's been working, I'll leave that to you guys [Australian media] to scrutinise and talk about," he said.