Kurtley Beale believes Australia are on the way to becoming a "really great" team and insists it is only a matter of time before they turn the tables on all-conquering New Zealand.
The Wallabies produced a vastly improved performance in Saturday's 20-10 loss to the All Blacks in Christchurch, but it was not enough to prevent a record-equalling ninth consecutive loss to the in-form Kiwis and now face the daunting prospect of consecutive games against South Africa in Pretoria and Bloemfontein on August 28 and September 4.
"The boys feel a little frustrated because we feel as though it's only a matter of time and a small step away before we can really complete and turn opportunities into points on the field," said Beale.
"I don't know what it is (that's holding us back) but it's definitely going to come.
"We're only one win away to becoming really great so hopefully in the next couple of weeks against South Africa we can do that and hopefully continue it."
Beale is adamant the Wallabies remain a united camp and defended under fire play-maker Matt Giteau, who faces an uphill battle to retain his spot in South Africa after Anthony Faingaa impressed in his run-on debut in Christchurch.
"He's a world class player and he can handle (the criticism)," Beale said.
"Everyone's on the same page, everyone's disappointed and everyone's in the hot seat so to speak. We've just got to stick together as a team now and they're a good bunch of guys and we'll get through this little period.
"We won't get overwhelmed and Robbie (coach Robbie Deans) has done a fantastic job of keeping us close together. We'll stay together, we'll work hard together and over these next couple of weeks we'll be ready to show everyone what we're really about.
"If we can't be number one in the world at the moment, we're trying to aim to be number two, and it all starts with our two-week tour in Africa and we'll try really hard to get over them."