All Blacks captain Kieran Read has found an unlikely ally in the form of ex-Wallabies flanker Simon Poidevin, despite the 47-26 defeat to the Wallabies in Perth.
Read, 33, has found himself highly criticised during the All Blacks' recent woes, dating back to last year's northern hemisphere tour.
With Ardie Savea potentially waiting in the wings, Read's position in the starting side has even come under speculation, the dynamic number eight struggling to impact games the way he once did.
Poidevin, though, went into bat for Read, hailing his effort in Saturday night's losing cause.
"Kieran Read was on fire," Poidevin told Trackside Radio.
"Kieran Read was everywhere. He made multiple tackles in very difficult situations and got back. His athletic ability across the field was just phenomenal."
Poidevin also backed the All Blacks to recover from their Perth woes, too good to crash to a Bledisloe Cup surrendering defeat.
"The team is phenomenal, the best sporting team in the world. The New Zealand public - in their minds they are unbeatable and suddenly they now have to sort of live up to that."