He was involved in one of the greatest tries in Wallabies history, but winger Tom Wright says he’s still trying to get over his role in a late try that helped France pip Australia in their epic Test last week.
Lalakai Foketi capped a stunning 95-metre effort after Wright made the initial break, but he was then beaten out wide in the final five minutes by Damian Penaud as France held on for a thrilling 30-29 victory in Paris.
It was the second one-point result in as many weeks for the Wallabies after they beat Scotland to start their European tour, and Wright says there are plenty of positives to take from the performance even if he continues to dwell on the missed tackle.
“It sucked for the group, it sucked for me and obviously for Jock (Campbell) as well,” he said ahead of this weekend’s match against Italy.
“I’ve just got to own that moment. You can be good in the first five minutes, but it’s more often than not what you do in the last five minutes that counts the most.
“We’ve still got three games to go, so we didn’t just look at the last try and think ‘how shit was that game’.
“We looked at the first 75-odd minutes and what we did really well and a few things that we can do a little bit better in between those good things, but as an individual, I’m probably looking at the last couple of minutes.”
The Wallabies will now take on Italy before they round out the tour with Tests against Ireland and Wales.
Italy is the lowest-ranked side that the Aussies face on the tour, but Wright says he and his teammates won’t be taking the world No.12 team lightly, especially on their home deck.
Consistency has been a major talking point for the Wallabies given they’ve produced 80 minutes of brilliance at times this year, only to follow up with disappointing losses.
That was the case in the Bledisloe Cup when they went down to the All Blacks 39-37 in an instant classic but then lost by 26 points the following week in New Zealand.
It’s why Australia won’t be taking Italy lightly even though everyone is expecting the Wallabies to maintain their unbeaten streak against their European rivals.
“Respecting your opposition regardless of where they’re ranked in the world (is important),” Wright said.
“The focus for this week was making sure that the outside noise of potentially (it’s easy to get up for France but we should beat Italy), but we blocked that external noise and make sure that we come to Florence ready to play.
“From guys inside the rugby circle, Italy are going to be no slouches this weekend, especially at home.”