Wallabies coach Dave Rennie has described himself as "gutted" after the record-breaking defeat to the All Blacks in Sydney highlighted the gulf which remains between the two sides.
The All Blacks put on a tactical masterclass during the first half of the 43-5 victory in wet conditions at ANZ Stadium last night.
Led superbly around the field by Richie Mo'unga and aided by an intensity and skill level which shocked the Wallabies, the All Blacks raced to a 26-0 halftime lead and while Rennie's men responded for 20 minutes after the break, a 10-minute final blitz added to the six-tries-to-one humiliation.
After an encouraging start to his test career in Wellington before a setback at Eden Park, new head coach Rennie has just discovered the extent of his rebuilding job.
The All Blacks' demolition allowed them to once again retain the Bledisloe Cup, a trophy they've held since 2003. After Sam Cane promised on his television interview to fill the big cup with a "few fizzies", the celebrations in the visitors' shed were likely to have been long and loud.
"We're five or six weeks into a four-year campaign," said Rennie in attempting to explain the result, before adding: "We're gutted about the result. I must admit, the first game in Wellington I was nervous about an All Black performance that would find us under pressure but we showed a lot of character that night. All I can say is we're going to keep working hard. We've got some good kids coming through. We need to respond immediately and the plan is you'll see that next week."
This was a significant test for Rennie and the Wallabies because it was the first under his reign at home in front of their increasingly frustrated supporters. It also represented a debut on the biggest stage for New Zealand-born inside backs Noah Lolesio and Irae Simone.
Unfortunately for the pair they came up against an All Black pack determined to prove a point after two mixed tests and a No10 in Mo'unga who is in superb form. The Wallabies' kicking game was non-existent and first-five Lolesio, in for the injured James O'Connor, was largely at fault for that.
You can add a lack of patience to the long list of Wallabies transgressions. In truth, this result represents a huge setback for Australian rugby and will inevitably be described as a Halloween horror show ahead of the final Bledisloe Cup test at Brisbane's Suncorp Stadium next Saturday.
"We'll assess things," Rennie responded when asked whether Lolesio would retain his place. "We're not looking to throw Noah under the bus. We battled all over the place tonight.
"He [Lolesio] will be happy to get one under his belt. He was cramping which was the reason we took him off with 20 to go. He didn't get a hell of a lot of front-foot ball did he so he'll learn a lot from that.
"We'll make a call and see how everyone bounces back. Obviously we'll need to have a close look at what we're doing. We need a much better performance on the park and I'm confident we'll get that. Obviously accuracy is key. I felt like we chased the game early on. We got a bit behind and there were a lot of blind offloads that just put us under more pressure."
Only three tests into his career, the Kiwi-born Rennie will now inevitably come under scrutiny about his direction and indeed why he picked such an inexperienced line-up.
"As we talked about last time we played the All Blacks, you can't turn the ball over as often as we did. It put a lot of pressure on us defensively. You've got to give them credit. I thought they were really sharp, really clinical. Their skillset was really sharp in those conditions. They had a really smart kicking game that they implemented well. Even their game awareness – they took a couple of well taken tries. I thought they were top notch and we were a long way off. That was reflected in the score.
"We prepared well. You can't turn the ball over as often as we did. We were pushing passes. What we talked about at halftime was just about building pressure – go multi phase and for 20 minutes I actually thought we played quite well.
"But 20 minutes of competitive footy is nowhere near enough to cut it with the All Blacks."
Skipper Michael Hooper highlighted the All Blacks' superior kicking game and added: "To come up against a really slick outfit like that tonight and turn over the ball is not up to a standard where we need to be and you get punished for that sort of stuff."
Rennie added: "I thought the All Blacks were really impressive in the first 40 minutes. They kicked and found grass and put us under pressure. They were really clinical… there was certainly a gulf between the two sides tonight."