Cup loss will fuel a new generation of All Blacks - Hansen

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Coach Steve Hansen said that was the one positive to come out of a tough trial for the side at the hands of a determined England side.

 

Hansen congratulated England. He said there were two very good sides going at each other.

 

"The team that took the game won the game. We've got no regrets, I'm very proud of the All Blacks at this tournament, they've played particularly well and just on tonight we got beaten by a better side.

 

"Sometimes you might find sport's not fair, but tonight it was, we got beaten by a better side," he said.

 

New Zealand would have to pick themselves to prepare for the bronze medal game on Friday against either Wales or South Africa, and try to end the tournament on a positive note for them.

Hansen said England had created the go-forward in the game and the All Blacks had struggled to dominate them either at the set-piece or breakdown.

 

"When you go-forward you get all the iffy 50-50 decisions, that's not trying to make an excuse, that's just what happens in the game," he said.

 

As the scoreboard mounted against you, you started making errors, like getting offside at breakdowns because of desperation which was the same with off-loading ball when things weren't in your favour. England deserved credit for dominating the areas of the game New Zealand wanted to dominate.

 

They hadn't been able to get the platform they wanted in lineouts, especially in the first half. It had been hoped the inclusion of Scott Barrett as a blindside flanker might help in that area but it hadn't which was down to the lineout group as a whole, he said.

 

But Hansen said if they had their time again they might do something different.

 

"They're a good team so there's no shame in getting beaten by them, there's a lot of hurt and that hurt, or adversity if you want to call it that will feed a lot more All Black teams in the future so we'll find one positive out of it," he said.

 

Hansen said comparisons with the quarterfinal exit in 2007 in Cardiff were that this time around the All Blacks had stepped up to the plate and had played as well as they could.

 

"As hard as it is to stomach that's what happens in sport sometimes. We see the character of people when they win and we've got to see the same character when they lose. Whether we're a fan, a player or a coach, we've got to stand up and be the same people we are when we win," he said.

 

Captain Kieran Read said he was sure all of New Zealand would be hurting but the side had given their all, as much as they had, and on the day they had come up short.

 

England had denied the All Blacks quick ball and when it slowed down they couldn't play their game.

 

Read was in no doubt the players had the right attitude, a feeling Hansen backed when pointing out that his halftime request for the players' to get hungrier was different to suggesting they didn't have the hunger from the outset.

 

Read said the players had turned up with as much as they could bring, they fell short but would pick themselves up and carry on.

 

"We're extremely disappointed by that but right now it is hard to put things into words," he said.

 

Assistant coach Ian Foster said: "You could see tonight that they were coming forward and targeting certain areas. They have got a really strong defensive mindset, you really need to get a lot of opportunities to break them down.

 

"You could see that we weren't far away at certain times. But overall they defended with a lot of energy, and passion and clearly they had done a great job in that area," he said.

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