All Blacks rue lack of discipline in Cup opener

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He said, "The first half was positive. We came out with intent. We moved the ball and scored early. We got into their 22 a couple more times, and if we had nailed those a bit more cleanly, we could have been leading at half-time.

"The lessons were just in execution and exiting our half. If you give penalties away, [Thomas] Ramos will punish you. But there were a lot of positives there. There was a lot of attention and nervousness around the game, a big game in a hostile environment. But we came out and played quite freely. It was just some of the execution that let us down."

First five-eighths Richie Mo'unga agreed the All Blacks were down, but not out.

"When you look at the number of opportunities we had in that game, we are just gutted about how we let France back into the game when we had all the pressure.

"World Cups are challenging, but it doesn't all rely on the first game. That result is not ideal for us, but we can only take what we can from it now. We will have a really good look at ourselves and where we went wrong. That will be very hard to do, but we need to if we want to go further.

"We put a lot of pressure on them, and there was a lot we were really happy with. Sometimes it was just the bounce of the ball and we were a bit hard done by with a few calls that allowed them to get momentum."

Fullback Beauden Barrett said the result didn't change much, especially if both sides make the quarterfinals. The All Blacks needed to keep believing because they did some good things in the game, and up until the three-quarter mark, the game was on a knife-edge.

"The French certainly rode their wave of home support. The atmosphere was fantastic and a great way to start the tournament at a home World Cup."

Lock Sam Whitelock said his disappointment was the side's lack of discipline.

"We gave away a few too many penalties.

"At times, we built a bit of pressure and got rewards for it, but we didn't do enough.

"You've got to take your opportunities, you don't get many, and there were a couple of key moments there that we didn't execute our simple skills, whether that's a catch-pass or cleaning a ruck. That's where we've got to adapt and grow and get better."


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