What's a pass mark for the remainder of the Wallabies' season?

The Bledisloe Cup is already back in New Zealand's trophy cabinet while Australia's dream of a Rugby Championship title is already over with the Wallabies sitting at the bottom of the table with a points differential of -52.

They now have two matches against the World Champion Springboks and two against the Pumas, before they potentially face Japan on their way to a three match November tour against Scotland, England and Wales.

According to Wallabies utility Reece Hodge, Australia is, as the grand old cliché goes, only focusing on one game at a time; they're not willing to think that far ahead just yet.

"I think it's pretty much a one game at a time focus at the moment, we haven't even spoken about anything beyond this week against the Springboks."

But what might Rugby Australia officials, and more importantly, the fans, deem as a pass mark for the Wallabies for the remainder of their season?

If we are to believe that the Wallabies are really heading in the right direction they simply must defeat the Pumas twice, maintain their unbeaten run against Japan (if the match is confirmed), and jag at least one victory up north. With that, the season would be deemed a partial success, with the series victory over France the highlight of the year.

We have to acknowledge that the best result the Wallabies can hope to achieve is third place in the Rugby Championship, anything less could only be considered a failure. Defeating the Pumas twice must be an expectation, and if they manage to sneak a victory over the Springboks, it'll be the cherry on top of what has so far been a lacklustre tournament.

While many rusted-on Wallabies fans may be hoping for a turnaround in performance in Round three on the Gold Coast, a high-flying Springboks team is going to be hard to beat and a strong record up the road in Brisbane doesn't account for much when you're unable to put a complete performance together.

While there have been complaints about the Springboks' 'boring' game plan, they're currently on a four- game winning streak, have won 15 out of 18 matches since the beginning of 2019, claimed the British & Irish Lions series 2-1 and are the current World Champions.

People can say what they like about the Springboks' style, but it has been hugely successful and the Wallabies will have a real test trying to break down their defensive wall.

Also, don't forget the Springboks have genuine attacking threats. Cheslin Kolbe isn't ornamental, he is someone who can easily break a game open when given some space, while Willie le Roux is capable of marvelous things, so too Makazole Mapimpi.

According to Springboks prop OX Niche, his team won't be changing their preparations for the remainder of the Rugby Championship, even if the Wallabies present a different game plan to the Pumas and B&I Lions.

"We just go about our weekly routine, the same as what we did for the first test against Georgia, the British & Irish Lions and Argentina," Nche said.

"We follow the same programme and have the same mindset, you do your preparations, you practice as hard as you can. Don't change anything, just focus on this weekend and the challenge that is about to come." Australian rugby fans shouldn't be surprised if the Wallabies drop both games against the Boks.

Dave Rennie's team really needs to hone its work at the breakdown; it was an area that was just not up to standard in Bledisloe III last weekend, while similar loose carries and poor attacking decisions will be lapped up by the Boks.

It was those turnovers the All Blacks so enjoyed in Perth.

"The opposition are exposed when you turn the ball over because you generally have a group of men on one side of the field," Rennie said post-match.

"So, we have to deny them opportunities and if we make errors we have to clean it up quickly so they don't get an advantage off of it."

If the Wallabies do fall to five straight losses, getting themselves up for the Pumas will be all the more difficult, but so far Argentina haven't quite impressed the way they did in 2020 -- against the Springboks Argentina simply weren't clinical enough.

But victories won't come easily, as the Pumas proved last year, Pablo Matera is just one brick in their almost impenetrable wall, and the Wallabies stumbled too many times in the act of finishing. This year it's paramount Australia convert their opportunities when they come. In some scheduling luck though, they'll no doubt take on a tired and weary Pumas who'll have faced close to three months on the road; this should play into the Wallabies favour.

From here, the Wallabies themselves hit the road in what will no doubt be a tough tour. If everything comes together, their first stop will be Japan and success here will be key to setting the tone for the remainder of their year. They're yet to be beaten by the Brave Blossoms, and while Japan should never be underestimated, the Wallabies must come away unscathed before they take to the U.K.

Just one win on the road in the U.K. should be considered a success for the Wallabies, anything less is a failure.

While Scotland and Wales currently sit behind the Wallabies on the World Rugby's rankings, that doesn't account for much. The Wallabies haven't defeated Six Nations' champions Wales since 2017, while they were crushed by Scotland 53-24 in Edinburgh in their last clash. Their record against England is even worse, going winless against their rivals since their famous 2015 World Cup victory.

But if fans and administrators are to believe Rennie and his team are on track and progressing towards a strong future, the Wallabies must strike and break at least one of their ducks in the U.K. Too much rides on team development to allow the lack of success in the northern hemisphere to continue.

And with just two years until the World Cup in Paris, a 6-8 record to finish the year should be the bare minimum the Wallabies require to sign off 2021 with a green check mark.