When the All Blacks sit down to review their sixth loss in the same number of years, option taking and a lack of attacking firepower will come under scrutiny.

In the immediate aftermath of the Wallabies 23-18 victory at Suncorp Stadium, a match with high drama, brutal hits but not so much skill, the All Blacks were reluctant to make anyone a scapegoat.

There were obvious bright points in the efforts of Sam Cane and Sonny Bill Williams. But many were guilty of individual errors, and the lack of collective composure when they needed it most at the death will be a concern.

Wet, slippery conditions made life difficult but the inescapable truth is the All Blacks missed Beauden Barrett; his speed and ability to create a magic play at just the right time. Lima Sopoaga, in his first start for over two years, appeared muddled at times in terms of whether to kick, pass or run.


Perhaps his early intercept pass dented his confidence. He is sure to learn and grow from the experience, but his performance undoubtedly contributed to the All Blacks failing to consistently threaten.

In six Rugby Championship matches the All Blacks averaged 41 points and almost six tries. Last night they crossed the line twice - and even that was a struggle.

"There's a few things I could put my finger on but we won't talk about them here we'll do that when we're sitting around video footage as a team," All Blacks coach Steve Hansen said of his side's attack. "If your team doesn't click between your forwards and backs which we didn't tonight then you struggle.

"Some of that is the ball we're presenting; some of that are the decisions we're making and some of that is the pressure from Australia. There's no point pointing fingers at anybody we'll have a good look at the tape and find out exactly what was wrong and get on with fixing it."

Sopoaga certainly wasn't alone in his struggles. Ryan Crotty made uncharacteristic errors and ill-discipline proved costly with Reece Hodge's booming boot ultimately sealing their treasure win, the Wallabies' first in eight tests against the All Blacks.

Assistant coach Ian Foster went into bat for Sopoaga, the Highlanders playmaker who was replaced after 60 minutes with Damian McKenzie shifting to No 10.

"He's been desperate to have a start. He's played well for us this year. We weren't that smooth from set piece through the backs and that combination it just didn't flow in the conditions. It was a tough day to be a 10. The Wallabies struggled a little bit in that area too - there was a lot of ball being knocked on. It probably wasn't a game that comes naturally to Lima but he'll learn from that."

After locking away the Bledisloe Cup and Rugby Championship titles once again, defeat is a disappointing way to sign-off the Southern Hemisphere section of the season. But if some good can come from it, All Blacks captain Kieran Read expects it to give those 37 players who travel north a healthy dose of reality.

"Losses hurt a lot more so hopefully the microscope from an individual point of view will be a bit stronger and the boys will learn from that," Read said. "We've got a few days at home but the trip up north will certainly be going through our heads and about what our last performance was like and hopefully that creates a bit of edge for us."