That was a costly lesson but one they would absorb before taking on South Africa in Buenos Aires in a fortnight.
"New Zealand played well, we were below par, and the combination of those two things didn't end up very well for us.
"I think we just lost the battle, we lost the physicality pure and simple. You have got to own it. In the first game we owned the physicality and in the second game we lost it and [with the] weather conditions as well that becomes more important and the game got away from us."
They attempted to get back in the game in the third quarter but couldn't get through the defences.
The All Blacks' response was not a surprise, but Argentina didn't come with the physical intensity needed to win the rucks that contributed to the loss.
Cheika said he had to take some responsibility for Argentina trying to play too much rugby in the conditions because he had not prepared them for that, and it was the first time in the Championship they had struck wet weather.
"Even with that we still need to front up with the physicality which could have set the platform or engaged the battle and at this level if you go down 15 and they go up 15, well they went up 15 or 20, then you'll pay the penalty. We did."
Argentina had not been 'up' for the game, and had fallen into some old habits under pressure.
That was a lesson for them to absorb, and they would sort that out, Cheika said.
That would be important for their development leading to the Rugby World Cup, and Saturday would be a day they would get the most out of because they would clearly learn that it was necessary to be up to the physical level for the battle.
Interpretations at the breakdown between the two Tests were different, but Cheika said if the rest of their game was up to par, they could deal with that.