They're on the brink of setting more unwanted records but Wallabies flanker David Pocock has urged the struggling Australians to look beyond the black and white to ensure they take something away from another loss in South Africa.
Pocock was among a select few Wallabies that stood tall in the 23-12 Port Elizabeth defeat on Sunday morning (AEST), pilfering cleanly three times in the first half and proving a constant breakdown menace to will his side back into the Test.
The loss marked Australia's eighth defeat in their past 10 Tests and they head to Argentina facing the prospect of a first Rugby Championship wooden spoon since its 2012 inception and their worst ever southern hemisphere tournament performance.
Michael Cheika's winning percentage as coach now sits at 48 percent, with 26 wins from 54 Tests.
Cheika has been given the backing of Rugby Australia but, with 10 Tests remaining until the World Cup, will need the side's basic skills, one-on-one defence and attacking polish to improve in Argentina next week to relieve some pressure. Brumbies ace Pocock said it would be foolish for the players and coaches to concentrate solely on the scorelines, though.
"I think it's probably unhelpful as a player to judge yourself purely on the outcome because you miss a whole bunch of stuff you can actually improve," he said.
"There were more positives out of this game (than the loss to Argentina on the Gold Coast) in terms of set piece and way we're wanting to play."
The Test match will be remembered for Kurtley Beale's disastrous intercept pass 24 seconds into the game that lifted a vocal 41,332-strong crowd higher still after a rousing anthem and ode to South Africa's late leader Nelson Mandela.
"They had the dream start; a seven-pointer off the kick off," Pocock said. "When you've got a teammate who's backing himself to make that play you'll back him and you can't fault that ... he's a competitor, he's one bloke who stands up and you can count on.
"We'll have to review how we got down 14-0 so quickly but we were back in the game and just weren't able to capitalise."
Pocock, captain Michael Hooper, fullback Dane Haylett-Petty, halfback Will Genia and lock Adam Coleman all put in solid shifts. But again the Wallabies were let down by a lack of support play, basic set-piece and catch-and-pass errors and some costly one-on-one misses.
"I feel for them; right now they're not getting a lot of rewards," Cheika said of Pocock and Hooper in particular. "That must really hurt when you put yourself into the contest so hard with such commitment."