Bitter defeat was tough to stomach but now they've got a taste of Test rugby the Wallabies' latest two caps are hungry for more.
Queensland Reds youngsters Tate McDermott and Fraser McReight were thrust into action during the second half of Australia's 43-5 drubbing at the hands of New Zealand, with the Bledisloe Cup well and truly out of the Wallabies' grasp for another year.
But the heavy loss didn't detract from the experience of wearing the national jumper for the first time for Wallabies numbers 936 and 937 on Saturday night.
"I was nervous," 22-year-old McDermott said of his 20-minute cameo as a replacement halfback for Nic White.
"A lot was going through my head at the time. I was more so excited than anything, just to be out there to rip in against the All Blacks.
"It's something I've dreamed of as a kid.
"It's definitely something I won't be forgetting.
"I loved it. I didn't love the score actually but I loved being out there."
McReight relished his opportunity to get stuck into the All Blacks but, being behind Michael Hooper in the pecking order, he isn't expecting a starting role any time soon.
"I'm a No.7, I've got a pretty good mentor and player in front of me who is also captain as well," the 21-year-old said.
"I'm here to learn, here to get better - both on and off the field.
"The best thing I can do is be a sponge and soak up all the knowledge that 'Hoops' can give me and be the best person for the team to prepare against.
"Obviously I'm going to push at every training, every time I can, to make sure I'm in the selectors' minds."
Both McDermott and McReight said it burned them to be on the field watching on as All Blacks captain Sam Cane raised the cup after New Zealand retained bragging rights for an 18th straight year.
"It definitely lit a fire in me," McDermott said.
"It's upsetting, it's disappointing and makes me know what to expect now so that next year we don't make the same mistakes."
In the meantime, McDermott is desperate for another Test appearance on Saturday night.
"If I was to be selected, it'd be unreal," he said.
"I've got my whole family up there who obviously couldn't come down for this Test match.
"To be able to run out in front of home fans and Reds fans as well up at Suncorp, it's going to be awesome for anyone involved, particularly if you're a Queenslander.
"So if I get that opportunity, I'm going to be buzzing."