After admitting they carried a hangover from the Rugby World Cup “Pool of Death” into the knockout stages, the Wallabies are determined to cut all ties with their near-terminal slip-up against Scotland.
Australia escaped with a controversial one-point victory over Scotland to sneak into the semi-finals, where they face a vastly improved Argentina at Twickenham on Sunday (Monday AEDT).
But there’s no danger of any memories of the fortunate escape sneaking into camp this week – even if it is seemingly hard to avoid and has dominated back pages since the 35-34 victory.
“Its irrelevant. We are still here,” explains feisty halfback Will Genia.
“We won the game, we’re still here, we have another week to prepare.
“People can say what they want, we are just concentrating on Argentina.
“They can forget about it or talk about it all they want.
“We have forgotten about it. It doesn’t matter. It is irrelevant.”
The “peripheral chat”, as Genia and coach Michael Cheika call it, has been unavoidable in the fallout from the Scotland game.
The official at the centre of the controversy, Craig Joubert, has been accused of robbing Scotland of a semi-final appearance – and on Monday was hung out to dry by World Rugby, who said following a review he should not have awarded the decisive penalty, from which Bernard Foley kicked the match-winning goal.
The media interest has led to numbers doubling for Cheika’s daily press conferences at their tranquil base in south London.
But assistant coach Stephen Larkham said it hadn’t been difficult to help the players refocus ahead of Argentina.
“Its been dealt with by Cheik and we back Cheik’s decision there,” he said.
“We’ve had a review on Scotland, not reviewing anything else outside the game.
“Just our performance against Scotland and we’re moving on to Argentina.
“There’s too much work to be done to worry about what happened on the weekend.”
Cheika had on Monday admitted the Wallabies were guilty of hanging onto their impressive pool wins over England and Wales, rather than switching focus to the all-important quarter-final against Scotland.
After using up their get-out-of-jail card, he took responsibility for the lapse and said he wouldn’t let it happen again.