Michael Cheika says Australia were left “very flat” but with “things we can work with” after New Zealand consigned them to a Bledisloe Cup whitewash in Yokohama.
Beauden Barrett scored 17 points – including a magnificent try – and there were also tries for Liam Squire, Kieran Read, Ben Smith and the prolific Rieko Ioane in a 37-20 victory for the world champions on Saturday.
A Sefa Naivalu try in his first Test since last June just before half-time gave the Wallabies hope, but they were already well beaten by the time Israel Folau went over late on with Tolu Latu in the sin bin for lashing out at Codie Taylor.
Cheika will take his struggling side to Europe to face Wales, Italy and England next month with the pressure on to lift the gloom.
And the Wallabies head coach feels there were positives to take from another heavy defeat at the hands of their trans-Tasman rivals.
FT l We go down 20-37 against the @AllBlacks here at Nissan Stadium, Yokohama.
— Qantas Wallabies (@qantaswallabies) October 27, 2018
“I think that’s why we are very flat,” Cheika said. “There is a lot of stuff to work with there I suppose.
“Just too many turnovers in key moments and too many turnovers in general. I think it’s a bit of a reason why we are feeling like that.
“But there are some things we can work with for sure going forward.”
Cheika also had no complaints over Latu’s yellow card for reacting to a push from Taylor.
“He shouldn’t do it,” said Cheika. “You know that if they push us and he pushes back he should know that it is going to come back and get us.
“That’s the nature of where we are at at the moment. It’s pretty simple but at the same time as a footballer you don’t want to get pushed.
“I don’t think the referee was going to do anything about it as he kept coming towards him. Maybe that’s the expectation on us. He definitely shouldn’t do it.”
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