All Blacks centre Ma'a Nonu feels the world champions were "out-passioned" by the Wallabies in Saturday's clash in Sydney.
Nonu, who missed his team's 27-19 defeat due to a shoulder injury, didn't mince his words when giving the reasons for Australia's victory which also resulted in them winning the Rugby Championship.
"They played well defensively, their kicking game was good as well and just their desire to really get into the game physically," he told Fairfax Media.
"They showed the boys how passionate they were. I think we were out-passioned."
When asked to expand on him using the term "out-passioned" and how rare it is for New Zealand to come of second-best in that area Nonu replied.
"I don't think we can hide away from what we saw at the weekend," he said.
"If you look at how the Australians flew into those rucks, how physical they were, and just the way they played, everyone has seen that.
"That's pretty much the word I've used today."
Nonu has recovered from his injury and is set to return in this weekend's Bledisloe Cup decider against the Wallabies at Eden Park.
He also feels the All Blacks will have to figure out a way to counter the Wallabies' rush defence which kept his team-mates in check for large portions of the match in Sydney.
"We made too many errors in terms of not having our backs available when we did have the ball, and it was just one of those matches that came down to who really wants it," added Nonu.
"That's exciting for this week.
"These are the games you want to play in. It's tight, there's a lot of expectation, they beat us at the weekend… there are going to be nerves from both sides.
"It's just one of those crucial matches."