Israel Folau ruled out of Bledisloe Cup game two
The Wallabies will be without injured superstar Israel Folau, when they attempt to win in Auckland for the first time since 1986.
Australia flew to New Zealand this morning without Folau, leaving their hopes of avoiding a 16th straight year of Bledisloe Cup despair in tatters.
Folau departed the Olympic Stadium on crutches after suffering an ankle injury midway through the second half of Saturday night's crushing 38-13 loss to the All Blacks in game one.
External Link: Christy Doran tweet: What the Wallabies and their coach Michael Cheika don't want to see. Israel Folau on crutches and in doubt for next week's BledisloeCup rematch against the All Blacks.
He was a no show at Sydney airport on Sunday, with coach Michael Cheika confirming the Wallabies would need a new full-back for Saturday's must-win return bout against the All Blacks' at the Eden Park graveyard.
"'He's just got a small tear in a muscle right down low. Quite rare really," Cheika said.
"But it's actually not a long-term injury at all, just a lot of swelling."
Cheika was hopeful the three-time John Eales Medallist would be back for Australia's third Rugby Championship fixture against South Africa in Brisbane in three weeks.
Folau's unavailability leaves young guns Jack Maddocks and Tom Banks in line to fill the champion full-back's boots, although Kurtley Beale also looms as an option with Matt Toomua a candidate for inside centre.
Maddocks scored Australia's only try on his Test debut after replacing winger Dane Haylett-Petty for the final 25 minutes on Saturday night and Cheika said he'd have no hesitation starting the 22-year-old should Folau be ruled out.
"I thought he did OK out there when he went on," Cheika said.
"I haven't had a good look at it, but he wouldn't have been on the bench if we didn't think he was ready to play.
"So he played tonight, got a few touches and got a try as well.
"So, yeah, I would imagine he would be there [but] we've also got Tom Banks, who's an out-and-out full-back so we'll see where we end up."
Inability to capitalise on sluggish All Blacks key
Of even greater concern for the Wallabies than being without their attacking trump is fixing their shaky set piece after losing seven of their eight lineouts and conceding several scrum penalties in the series opener.
"We need to be disappointed about this result," skipper Michael Hooper said.
Hooper lamented his side's inability to capitalise on a promising start as the All Blacks made a sluggish, error-prone beginning.
"They put us under pressure, turned over the ball and they ran in some quality tries."
The Wallabies kept the world champions scoreless until the 39th minute and led 6-5 at halftime, only to leak five tries after the interval in an all-too-familiar defeat at the hands of their clinical arch-rivals.
All Blacks captain Kieran Read described Aaron Smith's try 90 seconds before half-time as the turning point.
"It was crucial," he said.
"They had probably dominated that half so for us to get back in touch on the scoreboard was great. I think the resilience within the boys was awesome."
Read did counsel against complacency though from his side, despite their imperious record at Eden Park, a venue in which they have not tasted defeat since 1994.
"We've only got one hand on the trophy," Read added.
Steve Hansen meanwhile, noted there were areas the All Blacks could improve on ahead of next Saturday's match.
"We weren't a 100 per cent clinical, there's no doubt about that," The New Zealand coach said.
"The first half was like two big bulls in the ring head-butting each other.
"There's plenty for us to work on in the next seven days, but there's enough to be happy about."