Win for Wallabies a step forward: Slipper

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The Wallabies are hailing their last-gasp victory over France in their opening Test in Brisbane as a step forward after they were forced to settle for three draws last year.

Trailing by a point, Australia looked headed for a bitter disappointment until a French blunder after full-time turned the ball over, with Wallabies' five-eighth Noah Lolesio then kicking the match-winning penalty.

Veteran prop James Slipper lauded his team's character and composure to stay in the hunt after being down 15-0 early in the match, meaning they can now clinch the three-Test series in game 2 in Melbourne on Tuesday.

"It was pretty hard on the heart strings, it was a bit of a pressure cooker at the end but I was really proud of the boys to get the result," the 101-Test veteran said.

"It's fair to say we were pretty clunky throughout the whole night and weren't playing our best rugby but we found a way.

"It was a good sign of character to end up with the result."

Last year the Wallabies drew twice with Argentina and once with New Zealand and Slipper felt they would gain confidence from being able to ice a win at the death.

"It's huge for confidence - albeit we didn't play that well - we still got the result and that's the most pleasing thing," the 32-year-old said.

"Last year we ended up with those draws and winning's a habit you want to build on and create a bit of momentum."

Slipper said the team let themselves down with poor execution, particularly with their handling and kicking game, while they also racked up costly missed tackles and turnovers.

He felt the big French line-up had their number at the breakdown and with their rushing defence.

"I was really impressed with their on-ball pressure - I thought they attacked us really hard at first phase off set piece and got some really good results off that so that's something we have to look at," he said.

"We looked like a team who hadn't played rugby in a while ... but we're pretty confident we're heading in the right direction and are keen to get into that next game and play some better rugby."

The Wallabies haven't lost to France in Australia since 1990.

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