The All Blacks have that merciless habit of winning, so when they eventually lose it doesn't sit very well on their shoulders. A World Cup semi-final loss to England will be no different, though if they were hoping to garner a little sympathy with the national New Zealand media they may as well call for the men in white coats. That's not usually how they operate.
New Zealand's national media has often been as ruthless as they are unsympathetic, but back-to-back World Cup titles have left them with a little credit in the bank. However, those titles haven't made them completely immune from the gaze of their homeland critics.
— Rugby World Cup (@rugbyworldcup) October 26, 2019
On Stuff.co.nz only two players, Jack Goodhue and Scott Barrett, were awarded ratings above five, though the latter was still substituted at half-time.
Elsewhere on the site, Marc Hinton said the Kiwis were a "long, long way from the crisp, free-flowing rugby that the All Blacks unleash at their best."
They were ill-disciplined, sloppy and beaten to the punch throughout almost the entirety of this captivating contest, won 19-7 by a richly deserving England.
In the website's match report, Richard Knowler claimed "nothing went right for the All Blacks."
The All Blacks entered this game with the world going ga-ga about their attacking game but it was as if someone had poured sawdust into their gear boxes.
Meanwhile in the New Zealand Herald, Dylan Cleaver called on the country to be magnanimous in defeat.
It stings a little bit, like undiluted Dettol on an open sore. The fact that it's an England side coached by an Australian makes it worse, no doubt. Salty, even.
But it's the end of the World Cup, not the world.
Let's give magnanimity a go – we haven't tried it in this situation for a while (since 1995 probably, and even that was tempered by the enigma of Susie the Waitress).
Liam Napier said, "Eddie Jones claimed he had been plotting this match for two-and-a-half years and his tactics sure turned to gold"; while Gregor Paul said he witnessed the All Blacks' "dream of three successive Rugby World Cups be killed at the hands of an extraordinary rush defence."
Congratulations to @englandrugby on a fantastic performance today. World class. Good luck in final. Tough day at the office for the @AllBlacks but these make us stronger. Proud kiwi. Kia Kaha #rememberyourlosses 🏉👏 pic.twitter.com/pukNY36hSd
— Sean Fitzpatrick (@SFitzpatrick92) October 26, 2019
The best team won.
I wish we'd been better, but we were brilliantly outplayed. Forensically, architecturally, passionately and brilliantly.
England deserved it.
What a total and utter bummer.
— John Campbell (@JohnJCampbell) October 26, 2019
— Neemia Tialata (@NeemiaTialata) October 26, 2019