We could blame the devious Aussie scheduling, the pitch, the ball, the umpiring, the fates, the catching, the preparation, the heat, the-day night issues.
You could even criticise a Kane Williamson decision or two, particularly hurling poor Neil Wagner in as night watchman after his herculean bowling effort.
The problem for the New Zealand cricket team in Perth has been the usual suspect, or suspects: the openers.
Tom Latham. Jeet Raval. That's where one of the most important tests in New Zealand history has gone wrong.
It was always the most concerning point, as our best ever test side chases a rare series victory in Australia. And the concern was well justified.
Latham and Raval couldn't stem the tide of history, just when we needed them most in their first dig against the Aussies.
New Zealand doesn't do playing Australia at cricket very well and it all goes wrong at the top of the order. Then the domino effect takes hold.
And yes, the lack of preparation in Australian conditions may have played a part in their first innings disaster.
But Latham and Raval lasted a pathetic total of nine deliveries in the first innings. End of story. End of test match. End of series probably.
Latham has built a strong test record, but Raval is out of his depth. He was off balance and had left a tail-ender's type of gap between bat and pad when bowled by Josh Hazlewood's quick inswinger.
The top order situation is so bad in this country that everyone knew Raval was a sitting duck, but there was no viable alternative.
New Zealand openers go weak at the knees when an Aussie fast bowler comes into view.
The few decent or half decent openers we've had have seen their averages plummet against Australia.
The one major exception is probably Glenn Turner, whose impressive test average went up to nearly 50 against the Aussies during the 1970s.
He is as an exception.
Our openers often struggle, a longstanding problem New Zealand cricket has never come to grips with.
Australia's opening bowlers are too good for us. They've had so many great ones over the years, and our cricket leaders - for all of their other fantastic achievements - can't combat them.
Hits and misses from the Perth test
Hit: This could be known as Neil Wagner's test, but the result will preclude that. The New Zealand medium-fast bowler's lion hearted and skilful performance, and the adaption of his short-pitched game, have been exceptional. He's dismissed Steve Smith twice and David Warner once, and got current danger man Marnus Labuschagne's wicket in both innings. That says it all.
Miss: Forget about the pink ball going too soft. It's the commentary I'm worried about.
Jeez, I really miss the late Tony Greig, and the peerless Richie Benaud of course. Bring back Shane Warne, Ian Healy (eeek), Mark Taylor, Ian Chappell and Bill Lawry.
Our own Ian Smith and England's Isa Guha are doing their best.
But the current crop of Aussies lack zip. Kerry O'Keefe is a bit of a laugh, but he needs a sharper edge around him. Maybe they could split Mike Hussey and Mark Waugh up. They are too cosy. (If they refer to Hussey as Mr. Cricket one more time I'm going to scream).
Case in point: the stupid third umpire decision, which confirmed that Colin de
Grandhomme was caught out when he wasn't to most eyes. The TV commentators initially seemed almost disinterested, and it took a new shift (Brendon Julian and Smith I think) to even seriously question it. And even then, it was a softly, softly response to the umpiring nonsense.
Speaking of that third umpire decision…
Cricket might look at using former players as third umpires.
The third umpire in Perth is Marais Erasmus who spent half an hour (it seemed like half an hour) using all the technological weapons available to come up with the wrong decision in the de Grandhomme dismissal.
Snicko was silent as the ball went past de Grandhomme's gloves, and no one could spot a spot where it counted. Yet Erasmus didn't have the courage to overturn it, preferring instead to stick with Aleem Dar's onfield decision.
Dar was unconvincing in the first place, taking time to make the decision, although he put his finger up with gusto.
You can kind of understand the dilemma.
The umpires work as a unit. There must be an inclination, perhaps subconscious, not to over-rule a mate when the decision is very close. This bond needs to be broken.