Wallabies have absorbed the lessons of Dunedin

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    19 Oct 2017     Getty Images

Second five-eighths Kurtley Beale got the Wallabies within a whisker of winning the game with a late try only to see the All Blacks surge to victory with a Beauden Barrett try.

But coming a week after the disappointment of their loss in the first Test in Sydney, Beale said from his view the Dunedin Test had given him more faith in the side's potential.

He told that although the loss had hurt it had been good to be part of such a big game.

"I think looking how far we came from the week before gave me a lot of confidence in guys around me.

"It allowed me to look forward with excitement and enthusiasm to keep building and learning off each other to try to reach that No.1 spot we want," he said.

The concern for Australia is that a young New Zealand team has also continued to build and had easily accounted for Argentina in two Tests and had put 57 unanswered points on the Springboks before coming through for a fine 25-24 victory in Cape Town.

Beale said: "I think that [Dunedin] was a huge game for us to get a good understanding of where we are at as a playing squad.

"That's definitely given guys an understanding of what's required to play at this high level, especially against the All Blacks," he said.

But the biggest lesson was the need to retain concentration.

"You can't lose focus for a second or they'll come back and pounce on you and take that opportunity and turn it into points.

"That's exactly what happened in Dunedin.," he said.

Lessons had been absorbed to achieve two wins over Argentina while the side had drawn twice with South Africa which was encouraging for a side which finished second in the Investec Rugby Championship.

"The more we play, the better we are getting. That's the positive. We're still building towards what we believe we can achieve.

"I think if guys are ready from the first whistle I think we'll put ourselves in a really good position to aim up in our defence.

"I think that's what happened in Dunedin and probably the second half in Sydney to an extent.

"If we are urgent around that from the start I feel like we have got the confidence in our defensive structures to be able to shut them down. It's easy to say that but it's a matter of getting out there and doing it," he said.

Of Damian McKenzie's threat, whether at fullback or first five-eighths, Beale said: "He's got a lot of speed, good vision, good feet and able to read the game.

"Speed is probably his biggest factor where he can take on those tired forwards in and around the rucks and maybe one-on-one on the edges.

"He has sharp feet, he's definitely a danger man we are aware of. I'm sure we'll be able to back our defensive structures to stop that threat," he said.