DUNEDIN – Wallabies star Kurtley Beale says it was "heartbreaking stuff" losing to New Zealand in the Bledisloe Cup thriller in Dunedin in the Rugby Championship on Saturday.
Beale believes his side has made progress and need to build on the lessons learned from their opening two losses against the All Blacks in the Championship. A 54-34 loss in Sydney was backed by Saturday's closer 35-29 thriller in Dunedin.
Beale, who looked to have scored a match-winning try before New Zealand manufactured their own match-winner courtesy of captain and No.8 Kieran Read and Beauden Barrett, said it had been disappointing not to be able to hold on.
"That one really hurts, heartbreaking stuff, huge effort from the lads, couldn't ask anything more. A couple of handling errors cost us in the end and that was just a true Test match," Beale said
"I think both teams played to the very end and it's just unfortunate that we were put in that position in the end and that one really just cuts the heart a bit," he told rugby.com.au.
"That was a bit disappointing to finish the way it did and so obviously [we've] just got to try and soak it in and try and remember this one so when we come back next time, we'll be playing with a lot to prove."
In spite of the loss, Beale said there were positive things happening for the Wallabies and their aim was to be up with the best. There was a new generation of players emerging and there was a lot of hope, and skill, that can help the side achieve their goals.
While they had been criticised for running the ball too much in the first Test in Sydney, Beale felt that approach had worked in Dunedin and they needed to build from that base.
"There were times there where we had to play contestable kicks and try and play in the opposition half, but I think as a playmaker out there, there's so much opportunity to give my outside backs, and opportunity and confidence is a big thing," he said.
"We'll definitely take a lot from that and build into a strong week against the Africans in a couple of weeks."