sport news Kurtley Beale pleads with Austrlia fans to 'stick by us'

Wallabies playmaker Kurtley Beale has pleaded with Australian rugby fans not to abandon the team after an inept defensive performance in their 54-34 defeat at the hands of New Zealand on Saturday.

Michael Cheika's side had hoped to lift some of the gloom hanging over Australian rugby after a miserable Super Rugby season on and off the field but instead added to it with humiliating reverse at the hands of their neighbours.

Beale, returning for his first Test in nearly two years, scored a try in Australia's second half resurgence but was as much to blame as anyone in green and gold for the eight tries they shipped in the first 48 minutes.

Wallabies centre Kurtley Beale has pleaded with Australian fans not to abandon the team

Wallabies centre Kurtley Beale has pleaded with Australian fans not to abandon the team

Australia were blown away by the All Blacks in the first half 'let themselves down,' said Beale

Australia were blown away by the All Blacks in the first half 'let themselves down,' said Beale

'We kind of let ourselves down in that first half,' he said on Sunday.

'We are working hard, we do care and we love playing rugby for Australia. As a group, we're going to keep playing rugby and try and deliver the brand of rugby that everyone wants to see.

'We're just going to keep focusing on that and hopefully everybody can just stick by us.'

World Cup winning Wallabies great Michael Lynagh led a chorus of criticism aimed at the Wallabies, who missed 48 tackles during the match.

'I can't overestimate how angry I am at seeing an Australian team who

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