Wallabies coach Michael Cheika may be an insufferably bad loser but he's a supremely good winner.

In victory he was gracious, humble, articulate and deeply engaging. His Wallabies side won their first test against the All Blacks since 2015 and yet there was not even a hint of smugness or even contentment from Cheika.

He instead focused more on the fact that while his team had been brave, resilient and clinical, their failure to be all these things in the previous two tests against the All Blacks was more on his mind than the victory in Brisbane.

"Unfortunately I have always got it in the back of our mind that our duty is to bring home the trophy which we haven't done," he said. "As happy as I am - and I am very happy for the players because they have been working hard - but the end game is to bring home the [Bledisloe] Cup and we came up short there this year.


"So as enjoyable as the win was, not winning the Cup resonates with me. It is obviously something we have go to try our best to do next year because you know New Zealand are only going to get better."

Winning brings the best out of Cheika - lifts the lid a little more effectively to see what kind of culture he is building within the Wallabies and the sorts of attitudes and desires he is fostering among the players.

Cheika's ability to handle winning so effortlessly is at odds with how he has behaved through the previous seven consecutive Bledisloe Cup losses - sour, petulant, angry with the referee, his players, the All Blacks...the world.

And it's insightful because what should be apparent is that Cheika is not the madly gesticulating man child he often appears to be.

When his toys are flying about in the coaching box, the arms raised to the heavens and the lip readers shocked at what they believe is coming out his mouth, it's easy enough to believe Cheika is not in possession of either the vision or emotional control he needs to succeed at this level.

But that's not it all. He's simply passionate, hard-wired to react, to live through every moment.

The real picture, as was revealed a little last night, is that he's smart, driven and with a good management team around him, he's slowly transforming this Wallabies team into a genuine world force.

Australian rugby is a total shambles and in horrible shape, but Cheika has plucked 30 players out of the wreckage and is building a squad with depth of character and supreme ability.

Across the three Bledisloe tests the Wallabies can argue they attacked better than the All Blacks. And who really cares whether they did or didn't, they certainly attacked brilliantly and there is a genuine inventive bent back in their world.

They have wound the clock back to the late 1990s, maybe not surprisingly given the presence of Stephen Larkham in their coaching team - to that time when the Wallabies moved the ball better than everyone else.

Kurtley Beale has been a revelation since he returned from Wasps and as surprising as it is, two years playing in England has allowed him to bring solidity to bolster his obvious creativity.

Israel Folau has suddenly become interested in being world class again and Will Genia and Bernard Foley find ways to get involved and bring everything together.

But maybe the biggest transformation this year has been in the Wallabies tight five. Their scrummaging is maybe still a little vulnerable at times but throughout the Rugby Championship, and certainly at Suncorp, there was genuine steel within their pack.

"I think there is an improving mind set from our players," said Cheika. "Which is wanting to work hard. Wanting to be fitter and more physical. Just wanting to do all the things that people probably don't see on the field. And have that attitude and want to get better that is something you have to practise. You don't just suddenly decide one day that is how you are going to be."