Australian media have reacted swiftly to a Herald column suggesting the Wallabies are lacking "genuine hard men" in the wake of the All Blacks' comfortable victory in the second Bledisloe Cup test at Eden Park.
But, rather than disagree with Herald rugby writer Gregor Paul's piece, the vast majority of respondents in one poll agreed that Dave Rennie's Wallabies are "soft".
The Aussies went down to the All Blacks 27-7 on Sunday with the hosts having the better of the physical battle, following an underwhelming performance in the drawn first test in Wellington.
It continues a generation of hurt for the Australians at the Auckland venue, having not won there since 1986.
After the match, Paul wrote "the defining moment came just two minutes into the test at Eden Park when Dane Coles lingered after he made a pass and then decided to shove Wallabies prop Taniela Tupou and trigger a scrap".
"That one act of belligerence set the tone for the 80 minutes and had a huge impact on the test because clearly Tupou didn't like being singled out by such a deliberate act of aggression.
"Australia doesn't actually do genuine hard men."
The assertions are hard to ignore. On top of the physical edge the All Blacks had, the Wallabies committed a hefty 21 turnovers while missing a total of 42 tackles, by no means helping their own cause.
More importantly, the Australian public seemed to agree with Paul's comments - with 84 per cent of the more than 8000 readers responding to a news.com.au poll agreeing that the Wallabies are "soft".
"I would actually agree with this and the fact most Aussie males are image only and lack hardness and culture," one reader commented, while another said "[rugby] unfortunately played in Oz mostly by overpaid private school boys with mummy issues ... they have tried importing players but even they tend to believe their own hype ... "
"You can't be soft and play rugby. The change is in the style of play which over the last 20+ years has become a much faster game so you are seeing a move away from the big and tough (but slow) forward pack and on to the smaller, quicker men," another said.
One went as far as calling Australia "snowflakes".
"Our rugby team is a reflection on all Australian society particularly now. We are weak, scared and cowards and want to hide under the doona. Our forefathers will be spinning in their respective graves if they could see just how far Australia has fallen."
The third Bledisloe Cup test will be played on October 31 in Sydney, doubling as the opener to the revamped Rugby Championship, presents a do-or-die scenario for the Wallabies.
A win would make the fourth test a sudden-death match, while a loss would hand the All Blacks the Cup once again - a trophy they have held for the last 18 years.