'I just wanted to say what I felt' - Cheika opens up about passionate halftime speech to under-performing Wallabies

Move over Al Pacino. Michael Cheika might have edged you.

The Wallabies coach's cinematic halftime spray in Salta was one for the ages.

With Australia trailing by 24 points against Argentina and Cheika potentially facing the sack, the furious mentor gave his underperforming players a piece of his mind.

Encircled by them in the dressing room, Cheika was ranting, raving, pointing, pacing and at one point grabbed five-eighth Bernard Foley's jersey to remind them all exactly what they were playing for.

Perhaps it wasn't as purely motivational as Pacino's speech in Any Given Sunday - this was unadulterated, smouldering anger - but Cheika's rendition of the riot act worked brilliantly.

It sparked not just the greatest comeback in Wallabies history but the biggest halftime turnaround ever seen in tier-one Test rugby.

And it could be remembered as a true line-in-the-sand moment provided Cheika's words continue to ring in his players' ears in the lead-up to next year's World Cup.

Precisely what was said may never be known.

Cheika himself said it wasn't fit for public consumption and given it was a spur-of-the-moment monologue, he mightn't even remember himself.

"I just wanted to say what I felt, that's all," he told reporters.

"I didn't go down there with a plan of doing that or anything like that.

"I just wanted to say what I felt because the game is personal.

"When blokes are trying to tackle you, smash you, do all that type of stuff, it's personal and you've got to make it personal because It's not just a game. It means something.

"When they play like they did in the second half, they showed like it really meant something to them."

While television footage gave supporters a rare glimpse of exactly what Cheika can be like when he's angry, it's nothing new to his players.

Foley, who played under Cheika at the NSW Waratahs before his ascension to national duties, has been on the receiving end on a few similar bakes.

"He's definitely a passionate guy. That's how he coaches, he coaches with his heart on his sleeve and the guys responded," Foley said.


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