History to show whether epic Wallabies win was 'generation-defining'

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The Wallabies sealed an unlikely win over France after playing for 75 minutes with a man down. Pic: AAP
The Wallabies sealed an unlikely win over France after playing for 75 minutes with a man down. Pic: AAP

Soon after claiming his first trophy as Wallabies coach, Dave Rennie was asked if his side's courageous win over France in the third Test was a "generation-defining match".

The question drew a laugh from skipper Michael Hooper and a typically measured response from Rennie, but history might prove it to be just that.

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The Wallabies lost winger Marika Koroibete – arguably their best player in the first two Tests – less than five minutes into the game following a controversial red card.

It was huge call in the context of the match and a series that has been tight all the way through and potentially fatal to a young Australian side still on its P plates.

But, if anything, being reduced to 14 men steeled the Wallabies in front of a passionate Suncorp Stadium crowd.

They decided to get angry, not even.

The Wallabies composed themselves, fought back from 10-0 down and eventually snatched an emotional 33-30 victory thanks to Noah Lolesio's nerveless penalty at the death.

This is a match the "old" Wallabies would have lost, probably by a fair margin.

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But this performance showed Rennie's men are soaking in the education and learning from past failings. 

The forward pack was relentless either side of the ball, especially at the breakdown, and have something really special in lock Darcy Swain, who was in French faces all night long.

The backline did without their most potent attacking weapon for 75 minutes, but you wouldn't have known at times.

Yes, there were moments of uncertainty and the wrong route taken at times, but overall a lot to like.  

Young scrum half Tate McDermott was outstanding and surely ended any talk over who should start in the No.9, while fly-half Lolesio puts the ice in ice-cool.

Tellingly, strong attendances and even stronger television ratings would seem to indicate fatigued fans are being lured back and are willing to buy-in to Rennie's planned renaissance.    

Seen here, Taniela Tupou celebrates the Wallabies' stirring third Test win over France.
The stunning victory over France clearly meant a lot to Wallabies big man Taniela Tupou. Pic: Getty

"We wanted to stand up and show the country how tight we are. It showed amazing character," a proud Rennie declared.

"I think it will be huge for this group. It gives you belief.

"We'll really grow from this…special night.

"It was a helluva effort and I reckon we've got a lot more in us."

The Trophée des Bicentenaires may not be the most coveted piece of silverware – or bronze in this case – in world rugby, but winning it could prove a big moment for Australian rugby.

As for generation-defining?

We'll get back to you on that after the Bledisloe Cup.

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