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‘Suck it up!’ says Hansen as devastated All Blacks look forward

TOKYO: New Zealand coach Steve Hansen admitted Sunday (Oct 27) that a restless night's sleep had done little to numb the pain of their "gut-wrenching" 19-7 World Cup semi-final defeat by England.

The treble-chasing All Blacks suffered only their second defeat in 17 matches against England as their astonishing 18-match unbeaten run at the World Cup came to a shuddering halt in Yokohama on Saturday.

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"Nothing will alleviate the pain," said Hansen, whose seven-year reign as coach ends after next week's third-place playoff.

"You've got to bank that. We're still hurting as you'd expect, I'm sure the whole country's hurting. It's gut-wrenching, but when you lose you need to show humility – bite down on your gum shield and suck it up," he added.

"You measure your character on how you deal with adversity."

Hansen, who has been linked with the director of rugby role at Japanese club Toyota Verblitz, paid tribute to England after they beat the All Blacks for the first time in four attempts at the World Cup, revealing he had shared a beer with his old rival Eddie Jones after the game.

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"England didn't sneak up and hit us in the face," he said, noting how desperate England have been to exorcise the demons of their 2015 flop when they became the first host side to crash out in the pool stage.

"They were a team coming into this tournament with a massive amount of pain themselves – not making the playoffs in their home tournament hurt them.

"They worked their butts off. They don't play a sophisticated game: win the ball, give it to a big bloke and run hard. It's simplistic but it's beautiful," added Hansen.

"We were beaten by a better team."

BITTER PILL

Kieran Read still appeared shaken after failing his failing to lead the All Blacks to a third successive title in his sign-off as captain.

"It's a bitter pill to swallow," said the Toyota-bound number eight, whose 34th birthday had been ruined by a rampaging England side.

"Your family, the ones closest to you go through that too," added Read after his 126th Test ended in a first World Cup defeat.

"It was my birthday yesterday and I get back to the hotel and there's messages from my kids – it puts things in perspectivRead More – Source