CAPE TOWN, South Africa - The Wallabies proved little more than a speed-hump for South Africa who are on their way to a Rugby Championship decider against New Zealand after a one-sided 28-8 victory.
Pre-game Springbok fans were much more interested in the clash between the big guns next weekend at Ellis Park and with good reason as their team had victory in the bag against Australia after only 19 minutes.
When the teams met earlier this month the Springboks delivered a crushing 38-12 victory in Brisbane and they proved that was no fluke with a first half blitz that blew the Wallabies off the park.
By that stage they had hit a 20-3 lead and despite Australia steadying in the second half at Newlands Stadium following the insertion of halfback Will Genia, they weren't able to score a try until the 78th minute through debutant Chris Feauai-Sautia.
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie conceded that his team was "way off the mark".
Australia have only managed one win in the tournament — against Argentina who they play next Saturday in Rosario — and only one try compared to South Africa's seven in their two games.
McKenzie lamented some poor decision making as his team failed to adapt to the rampant Springboks and referee Frenchman Jerome Garces, who handed out two yellow cards to each team.
"We didn't do well enough early in the game and they got away," McKenzie said.
"We were a bit more competitive in the second half and showed a bit more character but it was very hard chasing the scoreboard as we had to do."
Five-eighth Quade Cooper, who was the Wallabies' players' player, stood up in defence, particularly in the second half when he had Genia back at his side.
But the Wallabies in total missed 31 tackles, had 26 turnovers and 10 handling errors which made it near impossible to build any pressure on their opponents.
McKenzie, who took over as head coach from Robbie Deans in July, didn't have an answer for those telling statistics but said he couldn't fault his team's character and effort.
"We missed opportunities to put pressure on; we're letting ourselves down.
"We missed them through poor execution so it's a combination of things that are letting us down consistently.
"It's very frustrating at the moment but all we can do is keep plugging away and the wheel will turn."
Australian skipper James Horwill implored fans to stick with the side as they rebuilt, with new faces in the line-up including Feauai-Sautia and centre Tevita Kuridrani, who delivered a mixed bag in his run-on debut.
"We expect to win every time we pull on that gold jersey and we understand that the public expect that of us as well," Horwill said.
"We urge them to stick with us because we will keep working and doing everything in our power."
The Wallabies travel to Buenos Aires on Sunday and then on to Rosario to prepare for their clash with the Pumas.