Tatafu Polota-Nau admits the enormity of the occasion got the better of some of his Australian team-mates in Sunday's Rugby World Cup semi-final loss to New Zealand.
From the moment Quade Cooper sent his opening kick-off soaring out on the full, the young Wallabies appeared rattled and could not muster the necessary experience and composure required to turn things around.
Australia's inconsistent scrum bore the brunt of the All Blacks onslaught, conceding a crucial penalty in the 72nd minute to put the result beyond doubt.
Polota-Nau said the maligned Wallabies pack will learn from the loss but admits their problems are just as much mental as physical.
"The experience would have helped a lot definitely ... it's important that guys take that experience and work on it, but I think the atmosphere got to some of the boys as well," Polota-Nau said.
"We didn't rock up at the end of the day, so it just comes down to executing at crucial times."
Prop Ben Alexander agreed, conceding the Wallabies lost their composure on the big stage at Eden Park.
"There's lots to work on, not just on the field but also off. Just how you deal with the pressure of the tournament is massive," Alexander said.
"We did pretty well trying to stay calm and stuff but just in the heat of the battle we lost our composure a little bit."
"We kept trying, there was nothing wrong with the effort and blokes were giving it everything, but against a side that good you just can't lose track at all."
"It's about being mentally focused for the full 80, but from the start we were a bit off in D, they got out to a lead and then played smart and sat on the lead."
"We'll learn heaps."
Meanwhile, Alexander said the Wallabies are now fully focused on beating Wales in the third-place playoff on Friday night.
"We're still pretty disappointed about the weekend obviously but it's something that we've got to live with," he said.
"We've put a lot of work into (the tournament) and we want to come away with something to show for this tournament, and the bronze medal would be great."
"We'd love to be in the final, that's pretty obvious, but to finish on a high and finish on a positive would be awesome."
"The boys are really keen and we'll get into it today ... we're moving forward now, what's done is done and we just want to go out and put on a good performance and hopefully come away with a bronze medal."
The Wallabies will enter Friday's clash without the services of hooker Stephen Moore (sternum), lock Dan Vickerman (shoulder, leg and nose), inside-centre Pat McCabe (shoulder) and prop Sekope Kepu (eye).
Full-back Kurtley Beale is in contention for selection but will have to prove he has fully recovered from a hamstring strain in the coming days.
Coach Robbie Deans will announce his 22-man squad on Wednesday.
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