Sportal.co.nz 07.Aug.2011Getty Images
Apart from a dominant effort at scrum time, Australia were outclassed right across the park as New Zealand reclaimed the Bledisloe Cup and fired the opening psychological shot ahead of next month's World Cup.
There were promising signs in an opening 39-20 Tri Nations victory over the Springboks a fortnight previously but the Wallabies failed to back it up, a vitally important ingredient given three knockout matches are needed to win any World Cup.
They were for all intents and purposes taken to school by a fired up and physical All Blacks side, which was fitting given Deans' post-match assessment that there were lessons to be taken home from Auckland.
"We learned a lot tonight. We'll be better for that," Deans said. "Not so much about New Zealand because they did what we know they're capable of.
"We learned a lot from our own perspective in terms of the way we need to approach our work. There were a number who hadn't had the opportunity to play against the All Blacks at Eden Park, so that was good for them."
He said he was 'pretty disappointed' with the effort, especially tactically, but had high praise for the way the All Blacks ruthlessly exposed those inefficiencies.
"They ticked the scoreboard over, they took their chances very well, whether it be by foot or by carry, and that allowed them to approach the game in a way that made our life difficult.
"We left a lot of points out there as well, lacked a little bit of patience in the way we attacked. We were pushing balls and trying to attack in areas that we shouldn't have been."
However, Deans was unwilling to concede his side had given away a psychological advantage ahead of the World Cup, even though the final will be played at Eden Park and against the All Blacks if both advance as predicted.
And he should know. The former All Black fullback was assistant coach of his home country in 2003 when they annihilated the Wallabies 50-21 in Sydney, then went down 10-22 in the World Cup semi-finals at the same venue four months later.
There are more immediate matters for him to attend to as Australia now head to Durban to face a Springboks side that is likely to have a host of front-line players back that were injured or rested, depending on who you ask, in the Tri Nations opener.
Deans said lock Nathan Sharpe, who was dumped for the tour to New Zealand, along with prop Salesi Mafu and two others would join a party of 26 to travel to the Republic.
He also hinted against wholesale changes despite the below-par performance and the fact the same XV had been played in consecutive Tests.