Larkham: Cheika has given direction

Date published: October 28 2015

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Australia's assistant coach Stephen Larkham believes Michael Cheika's influence has given the team direction.

The former Wallaby star indicated the reports from the pre-Cheika era revealed that the game plan changed each week, which lead to players making errors.

"From all reports, the game plans, the attacking style and defensive style would change from week to week," said the former fly-half.

"I think that since 'Cheik' came on board, there's been a really clear direction."

Despite losses to England, Ireland and France on the end of year tour to Europe in 2014, Larkham indicated the progress made on the tour has contributed to where the Wallabies are now.

"I was very proud of the way the boys played on tour last year," he added.

"I thought it was a very entertaining style of play and they started to combine and I hadn't seen that in previous years. So I started to find a little bit of pride back in that Australian jersey.

"I think the biggest thing we've brought over this last 12 months is a little bit of structure to the game."

Australia weathered the storm of the Argentine attack during their comfortable 29-15 win in the semi-final on Sunday. Larkham was impressed with his charges patience with the ball. 

"We have had our highs and our lows in terms of defence and attack," continued the former Brumbies pivot. 

"What has pleased me is the manner in which the guys succeeded in mixing both up last weekend. I don't want to focus just on my speciality but to assure myself that the overall performance of the team will be good.

"And I thought it was good. There were very long sequences of them with the ball in hand, one of four minutes, 30 seconds, which is the longest since I have been involved. The guys managed that really well."

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