'An unbelievably good team' - Cheika

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Lynn McConnell     23 Oct 2016     Getty Images

Fired up after being dressed up as a clown in a caricature in the New Zealand Herald's Saturday edition, he said his comments weren't needed.

But he did say they were 'an unbelievably good team'.

"They're so strong, their bench is very strong they come on and finish games. The way they play the game is outstanding, there's no doubt about that but I don't think they need our comments," he said.

"We have to learn that you cannot turn the ball over against these chaps because they will punish you."

Australia had 65 percent of possession and 68 percent of territory while making 138 ball carries to New Zealand's 90, but New Zealand made 523 metres as opposed to 503 by Australia and they made seven line breaks to Australia's two. New Zealand made 144 tackles as opposed to 62 by Australia but New Zealand's success fate was 89 percent to Australia's 78 percent.

Cheika said he couldn't say anything about the controversial ruling to deny Henry Speight's try because the authorities had him by the throat but added that he had never seen shepherding from behind before.

But before any consideration of that, the Wallabies had to own their own mistakes, he said.

"We turned the ball over too much, we made a lot of football, we played a lot of rugby.

"We know that New Zealand are very good on turnover counterattack and we made a lot of good play and turned a lot of ball over and allowed them to score. So we've got to own that before thinking about the turning point," he said, because it could only be called a turning point if they lost by less than one score.

Captain Stephen Moore said the incident was a key point in the game and they were right in the match at that stage.

He said all of New Zealand's tries were from turnovers and they had given the ball away too many times when they had been right in the mix.

Cheika said the improvement was obvious, they had won some good ball and made line-breaks and had set up good ball up front which made the ball carrying better.

"That gave us the opportunity to play a bit more footy, our backs made several breaks and made a lot of line breaks but we undid it with reckless turnovers," he said.

Getting rid of the turnovers was one thing Australia wanted from its game in the future.

Moore said Australia were past the stage of saying they had done some things well.

They had a game plan that worked for 50 minutes but they needed to make it work for 80 to win.