Yet Jenkins vowed to tap into his team's bitter disappointment to level the Two-test series in Brisbane next Saturday. He said, "We are bitterly disappointed but we will use that frustration and emotion to drive us towards next week's Test match.
"We certainly have a huge motivation this week. That disappointment will be a big part of our week. We were written off before we came and criticised for our selection out here but we proved we can be competitive.
"But we have to look at this as a missed opportunity. We were in the driving seat early on and then we were in front at the end. We had a position from where we should have run the clock down but we didn't do that."
Gareth Thomas and Jamie Robinson crossed to give the Dragons a perfect start and James Hook booted 13 points but Stephen Hoiles struck after the hooter had signalled the last play of the game to break Welsh hearts at the death.
Jenkins said, "Rugby can be like that sometimes. It's 80 minutes of excitement and I think both teams could argue they should have won. Either way someone was going to shake hands and accept defeat at the end and sadly it was us.
"We took the lead and that undoubtedly motivated Australia. They spotted our weaknesses to get back into the game and scored a great try just when they needed to."
He added, "We didn't have much possession in the first half but we defended particularly well and pressured them into making mistakes but it was far more even in the second half. Now we have to study this defeat and move on.
"Our aim on this tour was to be competitive and I think we've proved that. We've proved we have strength in depth."
Wallabies Coach John Connolly predicted another epic clash between the sides next Saturday, admitting, "We knew what we were stepping into against Wales and we know it will be just as hard in Brisbane.
"We were delighted to have dug ourselves out of a big hole in this first game. We showed a lot of character."