New Zealand have been beaten by Australia in the World Cup semi-finals but their performance in a hostile environment was “bitter”, coach Steve Hansen said.
New Zealand lost by 17-8 in front of more than 90,000 fans on Saturday in Canberra, after a long period of pressure from the hosts.
Their captain, Lianne Sanderson, said the team had “been bitterly disappointing” after the loss and their coach said it was “not the result that we wanted”.
She said the players were “really, really upset” after they had to be told by their coach, “I’m sorry you had to go through that”.
Sanderson said the loss was “a blow” for the team and said they would “not accept” it from the Australian players.
“It is not the result we wanted and we don’t accept that and we will not accept it,” she said.
“I think the players will take the blame for the way we played but I don’t think it’s really their fault because we all know that they didn’t do the things we did.”
The loss comes after a tough campaign for New Zealand in Australia, with their only win coming against a tough side in South Africa.
“We just need to go back and do it again,” Hansen said of the series.
“Hopefully we can be the team to do that again.”
Hansen said the only thing that would have made things easier was if the players had been allowed to get up to speed in Canberra after the match.
“In the heat of the moment it could have been a lot better but obviously we had a really tough time of it,” he said.