Rugby World Cup 2019: Emotional Aaron Smith says All Blacks' dressing room 'like a funeral' after England defeat

All Blacks halfback Aaron Smith described the team's dressing room "like a funeral" after New Zealand's quest for a third-straight Rugby World Cup ended in disappointment. 

The All Blacks were no match for England, who ran away 19-7 winners to book their place in next weekend's final against Wales or South Africa. 

The All Blacks hadn't lost a World Cup game since 2007, had never lost to England at a World Cup, and went into the semi-final on a six-game winning streak in head-to-heads.

Rugby World Cup 2019: Emotional Aaron Smith says All Blacks' dressing room 'like a funeral' after England defeat

But history meant nothing to England as they showed their authority and didn't allow the All Blacks to play their game. 

Smith's game was impacted in particular, as he had few opportunities at the breakdown. The 30-year-old was visibly devastated by New Zealand's loss, saying the team is embarrassed by their performance. 

"I'm truly gutted and highly embarrassed," he explained. 

"You got family and friends texting you, but you know they're pretty gutted and for New Zealand to think that we're not gutted … you just got to go and see their changing room, it's like a funeral.

"We're putting on brave faces, but it's going to be a long summer. It's over. We tried out guts out and trained really hard for this, prepared well, but in the end, sport happens, and we got beaten."

Smith credited England's flankers Tom Curry and Sam Underhill for disrupting the All Blacks' gameplan. 

"They were great there tonight. I felt in the first 30 minutes we were bending them and finding half-gaps, but we were just missing key cleanouts.

"Their two loosies were all over the ball all night. They were at us at set-piece, they were at us in our phase, and they kept turning us around in their phase play attack by kicking it a lot. We just weren't able to get out of our half at critical times.

"Anytime that we were sort of getting any assertiveness or ascendancy we'd get a penalty at the breakdown, or we'd give away a silly penalty.

"It's disappointing not being able to execute. We knew what was coming and we just got beat to the punch a little bit."

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