Wallabies coach Eddie Jones came under a barrage of fire back home, but captain Will Skelton backed him as the man to revive Australian rugby.
Their 40-6 loss to Wales in Pool C not only pushed the Wallabies to the brink of elimination from the World Cup, it also resulted in another drop down the rankings ladder to an unprecedented low of 10th in the world.
Jones has taken most of the flak for the calamitous campaign but Skelton, who has missed Australia's last two games with a calf injury, said the players still backed him to turn things around in the long term.
"I think his long-term vision and what he wants Australian rugby to be back to, I think that's a positive," the lock told reporters.
"The way he is around the group, you see in the media he has his persona, but when you see him one-to-one, in front of the team, how he speaks, how he directs, the boys follow him and I do as well.
"He is a fantastic coach with a massive rugby IQ. We're learning every day when we're working with him. It's one of those things, he simplifies the game of rugby for us."
That the results on the pitch have not reflected that -- Australia have one win over Georgia from eight tests since Jones took over in January -- was down to the players, Skelton said.
"Unfortunately we couldn't perform up to those standards on the weekend and the weeks gone by, to really show that coaching that's been happening in the last few months," he added.
"That's on the players and us owning that, and putting our hands up as well."
The 40-6 drubbing at the hands of Wales was a huge embarrassment for a proud rugby nation that won two of the first four World Cups in 1991 and 1999, and reached the final as recently as 2015.
"Forget the fact the Wallabies have a minor mathematical chance of getting through because it is all over," Julian Linden wrote in The Daily Telegraph newspaper.
"A lot of the blame - and rightly so - will be directed at head coach Eddie Jones, though he is not the only culprit because this was a collective stuff-up on an industrial scale."
Former Wallabies coach Alan Jones also rounded not only on Jones but also on the chairman of Rugby Australia Hamish McLennan, who sacked Dave Rennie in January to bring the former Japan and England coach home.
"If there is any decency, dignity or concern for the rugby family within Rugby Australia, the chairman, Hamish McLennan, and the coach, Eddie Jones, should be gone today," he wrote in The Australian.
Former Wallaby Peter FitzSimons, previously a strong supporter of Jones, described the Wales loss as the "complete humiliation of a Wallabies side not strong enough to make it out of the weakest pool at the World Cup".
"There is no way around it. The Eddie Jones experiment has been a disaster," he wrote in the Sydney Morning Herald. "All of us who thought it would work have been proved wrong. The magic he had has definitively gone."
Iain Payton, writing in the same newspaper, said Jones's decision to leave several experienced performers out of his squad in favour of youth had backfired disastrously against the Welsh.
"Ill-discipline and avoidable mistakes at the worst possible times let Wales get away, and an inexperienced Wallabies side - with many senior players watching on from a couch somewhere - didn't have the composure to stop the bleeding, let alone mount a comeback," he wrote.