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'Cop that on the chin': Campbell 'shattered' after missing key tackle vs France

By Finn Morton
France's wing Damian Penaud (L) runs with the ball past Australia's fullback Jock Campbell (R) to score a try during the autumn international rugby union Test match between France and Australia at Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris on November 5, 2022. (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

The Wallabies were less than five minutes away from a stunning upset win over France on Sunday morning (AEDT), before winger Damian Penaud sent the home crowd into a frenzy.


Much like their win over Scotland at Murrayfield a week ago, this match was defined by a key moment which only goes to show how tight Test rugby really is.

French fullback Thomas Ramos made it a one-point game with less than 10 minutes to play at Stade de France, after converting his sixth penalty of the match.

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But Ramos’ successful attempt at goal was cancelled out shortly after by Wallabies replacement Reece Hodge, who made the scores 25-29 with a penalty of his own.

Australia were just over five minutes away from ending France’s incredible winning streak, but there’s a reason that Les Bleus are among the favourites for next year’s World Cup.

Exactly 50 seconds after the kick-off, Penaud scored in the corner after getting the ball in space out wide, where he beat the covering defence of Tom Wright and then Jock Campbell.

Campbell was impressive during his first Test start, but felt “shattered” after full-time as he reflected on the missed tackle which he believed had cost Australia the match.


“Pretty shattered if I’m honest. To lose in the fashion that we did, yeah pretty shattered,” Campbell said during his post-game interview.

“It’s an incredible atmosphere. Family has travelled a long way so it’s pretty special, just a shame we couldn’t come home with the win.

“Just the last tackle, just missed a tackle at the end me and Tommy (Tom Wright) and (it’s) come down to that really. I’ve got to cop that on the chin and just move on.”


Campbell played a crucial role in the opening try of the match, proving to be the link between Wright and try-scorer Lalakai Foketi in a exceptional long-range try.

The Queensland Reds fullback finished the match with the second-most run metres of any Australian player, and he also made six tackles.

Speaking on the Stan Sport post game show, Australian rugby great Drew Mitchell said he was impressed with how Campbell conducted himself both on and off the field.

“I thought he was pretty solid tonight, I actually really liked the way he spoke there. He just owned it, he knows that he missed the tackle, he didn’t shift it onto anything else,” Mitchell said after Australia’s one-point loss.

“We’ve all been in those situations where you feel like you’ve cost your team the game.

“He was solid under the high ball, he was really impressive in that area of the game, and some of his decision making and also finishes this beautiful try.”

Following their hard-fought win over Scotland at Murrayfield last weekend, the Wallabies’ record on their five-match spring tour now sits at one win and one loss.

Up next for the men in gold is a trip to Florence where they’ll take on an Italian side full of confidence after beating Samoa 49-17.

Coach Dave Rennie said he was “proud of the character” that the Wallabies showed in their loss to France, but acknowledged that they have to “bounce back quickly.”

“Look we’ve got to bounce back quickly. It’s a long tour, five games. It’s tough,” Rennie said after the loss to France.

“We were excited about that and it’s been a great experience to be here, and we’re going to bounce back quickly for Italy who had a great win today.”

After playing Italy, the Wallabies will end their 2022 international season with Test matches against World No. 1 Ireland and then Wales.


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