Bledisloe Cup 2020: Sam Cane feels loss a brutal reality check, as All Blacks rue ill-discipline

All Blacks captain Sam Can says their loss to the Wallabies in the final Bledisloe Cup test will serve as a "reality check" for the remainder of the Tri-Nations tournament. 

A week after locking away the Bledisloe Cup for another year, Cane's men lost 24-22 to the Wallabies at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, as the All Blacks claimed a 2-1 series win, which included the draw in the opening test. 

But the result leaves the Tri-Nations tournament wide open with two matches against the Argentineans to come for both the All Blacks and Wallabies. 

The All Blacks will get the first crack at the Pumas - who haven't played a test in 2020 - next weekend at Sydney's Bankwest Stadium. 

Cane feels the loss to the Wallabies will serve as a massive wake up call ahead of their final two matches. 

"It's a bit of a reality check," says Cane. "We'll have a hard look at ourselves and have to get a lot better next week. 

"We're bitterly disappointed - it's amazing what a week in sport can do."

The game was overshadowed by two red cards which saw both the All Blacks and Wallabies play the majority of the game with 14 men. The All Blacks first lost prop Ofa Tu’ungafasi and 10 minutes later, Wallabies flanker Lachie Swinton became the first player to be shown a red card in his test debut. 

Ofa Tu'ungafasi.
Ofa Tu'ungafasi. Photo credit: Getty

Both cards were dished by referee Nic Berry for high tackles.

Cane feels the Wallabies adjusted better to playing with 14 men, while both teams also had time with just 13 players due to yellow cards during the contest. 

"The game lost shape a wee bit with all the cards," says Cane. "Australia adapted really well and controlled the game through their forward pack and a lot of kicking off nine. 

"We didn't have the urgency and intensity on defence. They played through us in their forwards, and we were way too passive."

All Blacks coach Ian Foster didn't have an issue with the cards.

"They are what they are," says Foster. "We'll have to have a look later on, but they looked reasonable for both teams, and we just had to adapt to a similar situation. 

"The rules are pretty clear. I don't think now's the time to debate the rules. 

"We knew them, Aussie knew them and neither of us did very well in that area.

"They controlled the game better than us and deserved to win. We couldn't break them the way we wanted to."

Foster feels the game will serve as a good learning curve ahead of next weekend's match with Argentina. 

"We didn't come up here to lose," says Foster. "We learned that test match rugby is a lot about hunger and the Wallabies had spades of it today.

"I'm proud of the way we hung in and got back into the lead and into some winning positions. 

"But we've got to keep our discipline and can't afford to keep giving kickable penalties away in that last quarter, particularly against a team that wasn’t likely to score in that space."

Join us next Saturday for live updates of the All Blacks v Argentina Tri Nations clash.