Noah Lolesio: Brumbies fly-half has learnt from charged-down drop-goal attempt against the Blues

Dylan Coetzee

Noah Lolesio of the Brumbies injured on the bench during the round 5 Super Rugby Pacific match between the ACT Brumbies and Queensland Reds at GIO Stadium in Canberra, Friday, March 18, 2022. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch) NO ARCHIVING, EDITORIAL USE ONLY ** STRICTLY EDITORIAL USE ONLY, NO COMMERCIAL USE, NO BOOKS **

Wallabies fly-half Noah Lolesio says he has learnt from his charged-down drop-goal effort at a crucial stage in the Brumbies’ narrow 20-19 loss to the Blues in the Super Rugby Pacific semi-final.

The game was finely balanced with little time left on the clock, forcing Lolesio to opt for the drop kick from a fair way out only to be charged down by a flying Ofa Tu’ungafasi, ultimately resulting in a heartbreaking loss.

Backed himself

Lolesio revealed that in the moment, he thought to back himself, not realising there was a defender within the vicinity.

“Rugby is a pretty fast-paced game and you’ve got to make decisions very quickly,” Lolesio told reporters.

“[I was planning] for the drop-kick but I probably got the ball earlier [than I] expected. I didn’t realise anyone was in front of me. I back myself. I went for the drop goal and it got charged down, which sucked.”

The young playmaker reveals that he has learnt from it despite taking “three to four days” to get over the incident where he could have launched another attack.

“I’ve definitely learned from it,” Lolesio said. “If I’m being completely honest, it took me three to four days to get over [it]. I know it was such a big part of the game and I really felt like I let my teammates down, which is not what you want to do. I move on from that. The biggest thing I’ve learned in rugby is you’ve got to have a short-term memory when stuff like that happens.”

Brumbies and Wallaby counterpart Nic White praised Lolesio for taking the risk as it could have easily been a match-winning intervention.

“In big moments like that, you want people like Noah wanting the ball,” said White, who is favourite to start at scrum-half for the Wallabies. “That was the biggest thing. You could see he wanted it. The last thing you want is someone going into that shell and be scared of those big moments. I thought it was a real positive. If it goes an inch higher and goes over the middle, the big fella is probably asking for another zero [on his next contract].”

When asked by Wallabies team-mate Quade Cooper, the fly-half claims he felt he hit the kick well.

“Quade [Cooper] asked me if I hit it sweet and if it was going over,” Lolesio said. “I was like, ‘oh, yeah, surely’. I guess we’ll never know.”

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