Ireland captain Brian O'Driscoll was left ruing his side's mistakes after their 18-12 defeat by Australia in Saturday's one-off Test in Melbourne.
The Irish enjoyed 63% of possession and made six line breaks to their opponents' two but could not turn that dominance into victory.
Both sides scored two tries - Berrick Barnes and James Horwill crossing for the Wallabies and Denis Leamy and O'Driscoll for Ireland - but Matt Giteau's two penalties eventually proved the difference to leave O'Driscoll frustrated.
"We had a lot of possession and you can't say we didn't have our opportunities, because we did," O'Driscoll said.
"A couple of tries we conceded in the first half we probably didn't make them work hard enough for them and when you are dogging it out and working so hard, it is soul destroying when you give up easy tries like that.
"But we hung in there and gave ourselves a chance to snatch it there at the end. It was something that we said that we wanted, to play an 80-minute performance or a 90-minute performance, whatever it took and you can't deny the lads it was certainly that.
"We just lacked a bit of that clinical touch at times and we were made to pay for it."
Ireland had numerous chances to snatch victory in the closing 15 minutes of the game, but made some sloppy mistakes with the try line in sight.
"When you are playing sides like the Wallabies, they have to go to hand those last passes," O'Driscoll said.
"Little pops here and there that went to deck and on another day they may have stuck to hand and created more opportunities and it just wasn't to be and that is where the frustration is.
"We still managed to score a nice try in that second half that got us back into the game but with the amount we created it was small returns."
Despite a second loss in a week following last weekend's 21-11 defeat by New Zealand, O'Driscoll believes there were many positives to come out of Ireland's two southern hemisphere Tests.
O'Driscoll singled out Robert Kearney, Stephen Ferris and James Heaslip for their performances against the Wallabies and feels everything bodes well for the future when Declan Kidney takes over as coach on the side's return home.
"There were parts of our game that I felt were very pleasing, but there is also plenty of room for improvement," O'Driscoll said.
"I think when you know you have a base to work off, it just has to be produced on a more constant basis.
"A few times the ball went down when it should have stuck and that will be something we will look to improve on."