Bittersweet 100th for Kepu as discipline lets Wallabies down

by Sam Phillips

Sekope Kepu's 100th Test was bittersweet. 

The momentous personal milestone, achieved by only eight Wallabies before him, was somewhat dampened by another loss at the hands of the All Blacks.

Kepu remembers both his first and 50th Tests well and reflected on the most significant milestone of all post match.

"I've got a new additon to the family and having them (the kids) here with my wife makes it extra special," Kepu said.

"Obviously we played New Zealand tonight, though it was a loss, we'll have a learnt a lot from this whole week a year out from the World Cup.

"I'm disappointed for the result but we've got to move on to next week. It's cliched but we keep working.

"Off the field I've got the kids and family so it's not all rugby... they are the ones - regardless of how you feel or a disappointing result - they'll be there."

In truth the presence of his four children and wife, Anna, made the night special for Kepu regardless of the result.

His family draped a lolly necklace over his neck when he made a beeline for them post match, as is tradition in Tongan culture.

"The lolly necklaces are made for special occasions," Kepu said.

"Whenever there's a big celebration in the Tongan culture.

"My mum and my mother in law made them for me.

"It's just a little mark of appreciation at a milestone."

On field, however, Kepu was disappointed with his side's lack of discipline.

Tolu Latu's brain snap in the 66th minute, in particular, was a very poor decision.

"We set ourselves some targets this year. We let ourselves down in that aspect and we need to be better heading into this tour," he said.

"We were punished quite heavily in the penalty count tonight.

"Tolu is obviously disappointed in himself but I'm sure he's going to learn from it."

With more than a decade of Test rugby now under his belt Kepu would be a prime candidate to have a quiet word to Latu regarding his discipline.

But Australia's newest centurion said the matter must be handled by Latu and Latu only.

"It's all individual. It's a spur of moment thing.

"Words and stuff get exchanged.

"It didn't cost us the game but it put pressure on ourselves.

"We're onto a bigger picture now and we've got to tidy that stuff up."