Wallabies coach Michael Cheika refuses to to join the ranks of pessimists fretting over the state of Australian rugby.
The giddy state of optimism generated by Australia’s thrilling dash to last year’s World Cup final has been dissipated by the mediocre form of the Australian Super Rugby franchises.
On the overall ladder, the Australian conference leaders Melbourne Rebels are only running eighth.
The Brumbies looked impressive in the early rounds winning their first three matches but have since suffered big home losses to the Chiefs and Crusaders.
NSW Waratahs, winners in 2014 and semi-finalists last year, have lost more than they have won and the Force and Reds have both notched just a single victory.
“I’m not concerned at all, I don’t look at anything in a worrying aspect, or I’m stressed or anything like that,” Cheika said.
“I only see opportunity all the time I watch the boys play.
“I’m not going to say it’s all going swimmingly.
“We’d like to have a few more wins as a nation as a whole for sure.”
As someone who presided over a Waratahs side that surged from mid-season mediocrity to title glory on the back of nine straight wins in 2014, Cheika understands things can change quickly.
“I’ve been involved in teams that have gone on runs and their position halfway through the year doesn’t even look like what it finishes up with,” Cheika said.
He even extracted positives from losing.
“Sometimes when you lose, thats part of the game,” Cheika said.
“You’ve got to lose, you’ve got to say `righto, I’m ready for the next one bring it on next week, lets play.’
“People might consider me naive, I don’t know if thats their attitude.
“But for me thats the older school value of rugby, thats the part I love about it.
“You mourn for a day, you get back up and you’re ready to go.
“I’m not negative about it at all. I’m very positive about what we’ve got going forward. A couple of losses are not going to sway me from believing in the teams.”