Wallabies must move past heartbreak: Foley

·3-min read

Savouring his return to Test rugby, Bernard Foley insists the Wallabies still have plenty to play for despite the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship trophies going begging in their controversial loss to the All Blacks in Melbourne.

In a dramatic finish to the Marvel Stadium match, referee Mathieu Raynal penalised five-eighth Foley in the final minute for time-wasting before the All Blacks seized the chance to score a match-winning try after fulltime.

Furious Wallabies coach Dave Rennie, who said he'd never seen such a call at any level of rugby, planned to seek a "please explain" from World Rugby.

"It lacks a bit of feel for such an important moment in the game," Rennie said.

"It's a tough one to take."

Rennie was at odds with New Zealand coach Ian Foster, who believed Raynal's decision was correct.

Any kind of apology won't reverse the 39-37 scoreline that secured the Bledisloe Cup for the Kiwis for a 20th successive year with Australia needing to win both Tests to take it from the holders.

The Wallabies will now head to Eden Park, where they haven't won since 1986, playing for pride on Saturday week.

They will likely be without skipper James Slipper, who sat out the second half with a calf injury, while lock Darcy Swain has been cited for a dangerous clean-out on centre Quinn Tupaea.

Swain was yellow carded just before halftime, crashing into Tupaea's leg as he tried to clear him from the ruck.

The Brumbies big man was suspended for two Tests in July after headbutting England lock Jonny Hill during their first Test victory in Perth.

Making his international return after a three-year absence, Foley set up two second-half tries to help the Wallabies overturn an 18-point deficit in an individual display that Rennie rated as "sensational".

The 33-year-old was still unclear about what unfolded with Raynal but said he didn't realise the clock had restarted.

He said the Wallabies needed to put the heart-breaking finish behind them.

"It's done now and we've got to try and move on and take it as it is," Foley said on Friday.

"I'm just extremely proud of how the guys kept backing up through the game.

"For the lads to stay in the fight and come back from that deficit and a couple of men in the bin ... to have a chance to win it at the end was pretty incredible."

Departing the Test scene after the 2019 World Cup and 71 Tests, Foley said he cherished being back in the gold jersey.

"I took a bit of time during the week just to reflect and savour the moment and to be back in the Test-match arena, I really cherished that opportunity," he said.

Foley said the Australians need to re-set and target a breakthrough win at the Auckland rugby graveyard.

"There's a lot to play for still," he said.

"It's a bit disappointing and bittersweet that we're not playing for trophies and championships but to go over there and win at Eden Park is a massive carrot for us as a team.

"It's also a chance to build on what we laid down, which is something that is going to be really important for this squad."

Tupaea will be sidelined until the end of the year after suffering a ruptured medial cruciate ligament and a partial anterior cruciate ligament tear in Swain's tackle.

The All Blacks are also set to be without skipper Sam Cane and centre David Havili after both failed a HIA in the first half after clashing heads.