Wallabies closing the gap on the All Blacks? Not according to their media

Getty Images

James Mortimer     23 Oct 2013     Getty Images

There was no doubt that the Wallabies performance was a big improvement on some previous efforts earlier in the year.

They did score more points on New Zealand soil that ever before in history, while a bullish bunch of Wallabies felt they were getting closer to the World Champions.

The game led to reports in Australia praising the performance of the Wallabies on the eve of the side departing for Europe, where Ewen McKenzie's troops will seek to win what will be the nations second Grand Slam.

However arguably the country's leading publication, The Australian, was not so supportive of the Wallabies efforts.

"After the Wallabies' 41-33 loss to the All Blacks in Dunedin on Saturday night, former Test fullback and Fox Sports commentator Greg Martin made the preposterous assertion that the margin was narrow enough for Australia to claim a win," the paper said.

"If anyone thinks that result was in any way a victory, even a moral victory, then they should think again.

"While you could appreciate players wanting to accentuate the positive for public consumption -- and there were some positives to be taken out of the Test -- the reality is the game actually highlighted how far the Wallabies have fallen further behind the All Blacks.

The publication believed the All Blacks, not the Wallabies, were technically the wounded team before the match.

"Backing up after their magnificent win against the Springboks in Johannesburg, the All Blacks were missing several key players, such as Richie McCaw, Dan Carter and Conrad Smith, and had a short, disrupted preparation. They were there for the taking, but the task was beyond the Wallabies," it was written.

"The Wallabies are making much of the fact that the 33 points they scored was the most they have ever recorded on New Zealand soil.

"But the flipside to the equation is that the 43 points the Wallabies conceded was the second highest they have allowed on New Zealand soil, exceeded only by their 43-6 loss in Wellington in 1996.

"The Wallabies have leaked 117 points in three Tests against the All Blacks this year, an average of 39 points a game.

"The All Blacks' ability to win the ball back from the re-starts also put them on the back foot almost after every time they scored. The game was as good as over after All Black five-eighth Aaron Cruden converted his own try in the 36th minute to put New Zealand ahead 30-12, although Wallabies winger Adam Ashley-Cooper's try just before half-time created the illusion Australia was still in the contest.

"The All Blacks loosened up in the last 20 minutes and the game deteriorated into a shambles resembling Barbarians rugby, which would not have happened if old heads such as McCaw and Carter had been playing.

"It was reminiscent of the All Backs' 36-24 win against the Wallabies, also in Dunedin, in 1997 when they switched off after leading 36-0."