Crusaders' biggest mistake – Cheika

Date published: August 5 2014

Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika said the Crusaders made a big mistake in questioning the decision to play the game at ANZ Stadium.

Waratahs head coach Michael Cheika revealed that the Crusaders made a big mistake in querying the decision to play Saturday's game at ANZ Stadium.

Much was made of the call to move the game from their regular home, Allianz Stadium, to the venue, but Cheika had no doubts afterwards.

“In the build-up to the game, the Crusaders suggested that going out to play the match at Homebush was a mutual field – that was the biggest mistake they could've made,” he told on Tuesday.

“We could've played in Taree, in Lismore, Dubbo, Bathurst – one of the lads said we could've played in the middle of Anzac Parade.

“But out at Homebush, with 62,000 people there, I think it really made the difference in the end having the crowd behind us.

“As a player, as a coach, the emotion you get when you're being supported by your fan base and your home town is absolutely indescribable and it pushes you to do things you wouldn't do normally.

“And I think that's what happened to us on Saturday night. Those extra couple of metres that Bernard Foley got with his last kick was probably due to the crowd out there.

“It was an awesome experience.”

Head coach Cheika was speaking after celebrations following their first Super Rugby title and admitted he was surprised his players were still standing at an event on Tuesday.

“Actually we're a bit lucky some of the lads are back from their night out. It's only been a couple of days,” he said at Sydney's Martin Place.

“But I think that we would've come from anywhere to get a reception like this in our home town – it's really unbelievable.

“It's a really special occasion. I don't think anyone expected this.”