Stephen Larkham has no doubt Noah Lolesio still has a Wallabies future after the ACT Brumbies five-eighth’s “superb” response to his Test squad snubbing.
The 23-year-old, 12-Test playmaker wasn’t named in Eddie Jones’ first Australian squad last Sunday.
But on Friday he put that aside with a perfect seven-from-seven kicks and poised game management as the Brumbies slowly picked the Queensland Reds apart for their first win in Brisbane since 2015.
The 52-24 victory shot his side to 6-1 and second on the Super Rugby Pacific live ladder, with coach Larkham saying it had simply been more of the same from his No.10.
“There was a bit of pressure on Noah this week; he had a tough conversation with Eddie on Sunday,” Larkham said.
“He’s just stepped up to the challenge, hasn’t he?”
Asked if Lolesio still had a Test future, Larkham said: “Oh yeah definitely, no doubt about it.”
“He’s got a responsibility to lead this team around the paddock and has been doing that in the first six rounds no issues and his kicking game was superb,” he said.
“He’s got a big impact on the way we play.”
Captain Allan Alaalatoa credited his pivot for their slow take-down of the hosts, who led 14-7 and then 17-14 just shy of halftime.
“It was something we were aware of and understood,” he said. “It was going to be a grind and it was tonight.”
Reds lock Angus Blyth was red-carded for a late, high head clash with Corey Toole that connected with his chin, ruling the Brumbies winger out with concussion.
“It was bad, wasn’t it?” Larkham said of the knock that left Toole stumbling as he attempted to find his feet.
“But it was just careless; no-one’s going out there to intentionally hurt someone else with a high shot.
“It happens with second rowers, who are a bit uncoordinated.
“He’s pulled up okay … but we’ve got to take this one pretty seriously.”
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