Hooper hails ‘special’ Wallabies victory
Posted On July 22, 2021
It took the form of a disaster, but could be the cause of Dave Rennie’s Wallabies as they celebrate a series win over France and now watch the All Blacks in New Zealand next month.
A controversial red card to winger Marika Koroibete – Australia’s best player in the deadlocked opening two of the series – threatened to spoil the game just five minutes after Saturday’s decisive game against France.
Instead, Australia rallied with 21-year-old Noah Lolesio scoring a try and scoring the winning penalty as he amassed his side’s 23 points in a 33-30 win for one. ninth consecutive victory at Suncorp Stadium.
Shooting down a man for 75 minutes, they defended fiercely and showed progress as their forward pack dominated the French, who produced their own sublime rugby.
Tate McDermott also scored and was effective on his first start while lockout Darcy Swain (24) and outside center Len Ikitau (22) also enjoyed their early starts for the Wallabies.
Rennie was scathing at what he described as France’s “slamming” of any high contact after the game, wondering if that was in the spirit of the game as he aims to fight Koroibete’s charge.
But he was just as excited about his men, who he said gave him a lot more to think about ahead of their next test against the All Blacks on August 7 at Eden Park.
“Oh my God, I don’t know about that, but I appreciate it,” Rennie said when asked if winning with 14 men would be generation defining.
“Of course it was huge for us.
” We built ; we were first (in a lucky two point win), better in Melbourne (in a two point loss) but we gave too many pills, then tonight it was just brave.
“We put a lot of young men in the park tonight and they paid us back in spades.
“We are creating good depth and competition for the spaces and that’s huge for us because it gives you confidence and shows how tight they are as a group.”
Lolesio showed himself ready to score the match winner – after missing his previous kick in what was his only miss of the series – with 90 seconds left as Swain won the penalty to seal the contest on the buzzer.
Ikitau partnered up in crosses with Hunter Paisami, 23, with Rennie making the bold decision to leave experienced No.12 Matt Toomua on the bench until the last moments.
Captain Michael Hooper, who was playing in his 55th test as a captain, ranked it among his favorite wins.
“It’s pretty special; you see our guys react when they’re in the locker room, it’s just a huge reward to see smiles on their faces, ”he said.
“It means a lot to us and to the crowd as well; we are walking around the stadium tonight… seeing real happy faces and we are able to provide that to a crowd tonight.
“It’s pretty special, something that will stay with us for a long time.”