Australian Rugby
James O'Connor 'gutted every time' he loses
September 13, 2013
The Wallabies' James O'Connor passes to Christian Lealiifano, Australia v British & Irish Lions, second Test, Tom Richards Cup, Etihad Stadium, Melbourne, June 29, 2013
James O'Connor says TV pictures do not tell a thousand words about his internal feelings © Getty Images

James O'Connor denies he does not feel enough pain when the Wallabies lose a Test, saying he is ''gutted'' every time Australia lose a match.

O'Connor once again was the focus of critics in the wake of Australia's humbling 38-12 loss to South Africa at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, with Hall of Fame inductee Michael Lynagh angry at the sight of O'Connor laughing with Springboks players after the embarrassing defeat.

Lynagh said after the game: ''James O'Connor was laughing with the Springboks at the end and while it's OK to be a good sportsman, I don't think a willy-nilly performance like that hurts them enough.'' ESPNscrum correspondent Greg Growden also reported in Ruck'nMaul that O'Connor's demeanour "sent some of O'Connor's team-mates into a tailspin".

O'Connor defended himself on Thursday, saying he was desperate for a victory and that he was "gutted" after every Test loss.

"You're gutted every time … you're never ready for it and it's not something you enjoy at all," O'Connor said of Test defeat. "'If you could play the game again straight away, you would. I can assure you it definitely hurts. You are never ready for a Test loss. After I've played my guts out for 80 minutes I'm still going to show sportsmanship and congratulate an opponent."

O'Connor said post-match television footage did not show "how we are hurting in the dressing room or how we'd go out and play again straight away to fix it".

''You don't want guys moping around after a loss because that's the easy thing to do. You have to start preparing for the next week.''

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