ACT Brumbies coach Dan McKellar has jumped to the defence of his players after a semi-final loss was twisted into reasons why they would miss out on Wallabies selection.
The Brumbies arrived in Canberra on Tuesday and you could imagine the surprise on McKellar's face when hearing how a 32-point loss would harm individual World Cup chances.
McKellar acknowledge the Brumbies were far from their best in a loss against the Argentina Jaguares. But he was surprised many believed finals action was a hindrance to Test selection.
The Brumbies were the only Australian team to play in the finals this year and out-played their rivals in the last two months of the regular season.
Hooker Folau Faingaa has been one who has come under fire after the Brumbies lineout missed the mark at crucial times.
McKellar says critics are overlooking the fact Faingaa was Australian rugby's leading try-scorer this year, ran an efficient lineout in 17 of 18 games and is in just his second season as a professional player.
The ACT Brumbies, however, are adamant the experience of a sub-par performance in Argentina can make their players better while the rest of the Wallabies were watching big games on television.
"It's a little bit frustrating when you see all of these articles and headlines about Folau," McKellar said.
"A lineout doesn't just rely on one person, there are a whole lot of things - a jump, a lift, the noise. There were 31,000 Argentineans going berserk, to blame one individual is disappointing.
"He's had a very good year, his second year in a professional program and I think he'll play a big role for the Wallabies."
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika has some tough selection decisions to make in the coming weeks before settling on a squad for the World Cup.
Faingaa has been the best-performing hooker in Australia this season and will compete with Jordan Uelese, Alex Mafi and Tolu Latu for Test spots.
To say a host of Brumbies dropped down the pecking order because of their Argentina disappointment neglects the glaring statistics of the Australian Super Rugby season.
Like the fact the Brumbies won three more games than their nearest Australian rival.
Or that the Brumbies won eight of their last nine games of the regular season. The NSW Waratahs over the same period won three games. The Queensland Reds won three. The Melbourne Rebels won two.
Or that the Brumbies won one of two finals matches. The Waratahs, Reds and Rebels didn't play finals.
"For me, selection is over a period of time," McKellar said. "Our boys have been playing good footy for two months or longer.
"Friday night [in Argentina] wasn't our finest hour, but you wouldn't rule out [players]. There will be a lot of Brumbies in that Wallabies squad and that's what we hope for."
That is not to say the Brumbies won't look back in frustration at how their semi-final played out, and not just the capitulation of the lineout.
The disappointment was written on the face of every coach and player who finished a 30-hour journey back to the capital.
"I haven't thought [about Wallabies] to be honest, I just want a break and to have the efforts of the year soak in," said World Cup hopeful Christian Lealiifano.
"I know it's going to move pretty quick and will happen in the next day or two. If that opportunity arises, we'll look at how to make the most of that opportunity."
A large chunk of the Brumbies squad is expected to join the Wallabies camp. Who makes the side from there is up to Cheika and his plans to turn the misfiring Wallabies into World Cup contenders.
The Brumbies concerns obviously stem from the fact the Jaguares are basically the Argentina Test side preparing to play the Wallabies. The Brumbies weren't the only to struggle. The Jaguares won every game against Australian opponents and are Super Rugby finalists.
McKellar says his players will learn from their mistakes and become better for it as they change focus to Australia's World Cup campaign.
"The whole semi-final experience was a big learning curve," McKellar said. "It went up in physicality, intensity and a whole lot of areas. It was certainly a learning curve for some of our boys."