'I couldn't goal-kick to save myself last night'
The Wallabies went down 33-25 in their Bledisloe Cup opener with the All Blacks on Saturday night at Eden Park.
Lolesio was central to the action, just like he was in the 2-1 series win over France, but against New Zealand he couldn’t produce.
The 21-year-old kicked two from seven, leaving 12 points on the park in the eight-point loss.
“I couldn’t goal-kick to save myself last night. I couldn’t really judge the wind and personally I have to be better there,” he told Channel Nine on Sunday.
The Wallabies have rallied around Lolesio, with Dave Rennie and Michael Hooper both speaking in his defence.
“You don’t go from an ace goalkicker to a novice overnight … we have a lot of faith in the kid,” Rennie said.
Australia’s scoreline, aided by the last three tries of the match, would suggest Lolesio’s kicking was the difference.
Opposing coach Ian Foster disagreed.
The All Blacks coach turned down the chance to turn the screws against the young No.10, when asked whether Lolesio’s boot had cost the Wallabies a drought-bursting win at Eden Park.
“It didn’t feel like that to me,” he said.
“The scoreline at 65 minutes (when the All Blacks led 33-8) probably showed the answer.
“There were a couple of shots they would have liked to get … you can’t always blame your goal kicker when you win or lose.”
Like his coach, Lolesio is drawing inspiration from his side’s late rally.
Three tries inside the last 15 minutes, including a Tom Banks double, reduced the deficit ahead of next Saturday’s clash which doubles as the second Bledisloe Test and the first that counts for Rugby Championship points.
“All the boys are disappointed with the result but we’re all like ‘far out we were pretty close to winning that’,” Lolesio said.
“It wasn’t too bad of a vibe (to lose) to be honest.
“We know with small fixes we can get the result.
“There’s two games left. In a Bledisloe Cup series you’ve got to win two games. We’ll take plenty of learnings from this and plenty of positives as well.”
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