Wallabies coach Eddie Jones has taken ‘full responsibility’ after a 22-15 defeat to Fiji in Saint Etienne.
Jones’ team were overpowered by a Fijian side needing to win to keep their World Cup hopes alive.
They struggled to get on the front foot and when they did, found themselves giving away costly penalties on attack.
It leaves them coming under heavy fire after the stunning defeat, with next week’s clash with Wales now a must-win.
Looking to shape the Wallabies for the future, Jones has apologised for the off night after their first loss to Fiji in just under 70 years.
“We’re doing our absolute best and I apologise. It’s my fault and I take full responsibility for it,” Jones told reporters.
“I was really pleased with the character the young team showed when Fiji is on the front foot in a fairly hostile environment…I’ve seen teams go away when Fiji are like that but we stuck in there. We just couldn’t get one part of our game really going. If we were able to get our maul going, that could’ve changed the game but we couldn’t.
“We didn’t get any ascendancy at the scrum, beaten at the breakdown so that was the difficult things about it.”
Jones came to the World Cup with the youngest team in the tournament and finished the game with one of the youngest forward packs in close to 20 years.
He still backs the decision whilst conceding there is ‘more variation’ between their best and worst.
“We’ve gone with a young team and I’ve got no regrets at all. We’re building a team for the future,” Jones insists.
“We’re going to go through some pain and some of the young players are going to go through some pain.”
The night was summed up by the bizarre constant booing Jones has copped from the French crowd.
“After that, I probably deserved more,” a downcast Jones said..
“They should be throwing baguettes or croissants at me. It’s not good enough and I deserve whatever I get.”
However, Jones is confident they have enough time to turn it around.
“I’ve got no doubt we will get a response,” he added. “…The great thing about the World Cup is it’s not the end of the road.
“We’ve got Wales next week so we need to kick some stones tonight, work out where we can improve quickly and then get on with the game against Wales.”