With Australian teams yet to pick up a win in 10 Super Rugby Trans-Tasman encounters against New Zealand sides this season, Queensland Reds coach Brad Thorn reiterated his desire to face Kiwi opposition on a more regular basis.
On Saturday Thorn's team were on the receiving end of a 63-28 thrashing at the hands of the Canterbury Crusaders, the Super Rugby Aotearoa champions, with Richie Mo'unga in devastating form, scoring three tries in a 31-point haul.
The one-sided loss for the Super Rugby AU winners highlighted the gulf that currently exists between the elite competitions in the two nations, and former Leinster and All-Black lock Thorn said the gap can only be closed with greater exposure to New Zealand teams.
"I've said all year we need to play the New Zealanders if you want to get better," he said, according to stuff.co.nz.
"Tonight you get a punch in the face, but you sit in the locker room afterwards and think, 'That's it, that's where we want to be'.
"We need to play these guys, we want to play them and we want to win.
"But there's a team that's far superior tonight, and you've got to wear that... welcome to world-class, now you've got to get in the ring with them."
"There's a gulf, isn't there, which is a real shame."
After leading the Crusaders to the Aotearoa title, coach Scott Robertson had hoped the Australian teams would be more competitive.
But after the opening two rounds of the competition, the Australian sides have lost all 10 matches, many of them by large margins.
"The Aotearoa was tough, brutal and the guys talk about it like playing Test matches," said Robertson.
"I would have liked Australian teams to knock off a few of the Kiwi teams to make the ladder a little more even. There's a gulf, isn't there, which is a real shame.
"The rest of this competition's really important for Australian rugby to show a bit for their supporters."
Rob Kerney's Western Force were beaten 25-15 on Friday by Highlanders.