Rugby World Cup: All Blacks vow to come back stronger after disappointment of France defeat

"World Cups aren't won in September".

That's the message from senior All Black Beauden Barrett in the wake of a history-making loss against France to open the Rugby World Cup.

On Saturday, Ian Foster's men claimed another unwanted record, becoming the first New Zealand side to be defeated in a World Cup pool match.

The loss to France comes two weeks after an equally as painful defeat to South Africa, which doubles as the All Blacks' worst in history.  

Ethan de Groot reacts in defeat to France.
Ethan de Groot reacts in defeat to France. Photo credit: Reuters

Over the past 12 months, this All Blacks side has made a habit of rebounding from defeats in style.

Losses to South Africa and Argentina were immediately followed by victories a week later.

And while that didn't happen in Paris on Saturday, you'd be brave to bet against Namibia being on the receiving end of a response next week.

Now needing three wins out of three to advance to the knockout stage, the All Blacks' equation is clear.

But while the team are still processing their loss against their hosts, Barrett knows they can't afford to dwell for too long.

"In the change rooms, there's a lot of emotions [and] disappointment," said Barrett. "The boys are a bit gutted.

"But we know that it's there. We're not going to lose hope, we'll stay positive.

"We'll review as we normally do, but World Cup's aren't won in September.

"We've just got to keep believing and move on from this."

Fortunately, the All Blacks have the perfect example of how to bounce back.

Four years ago, Sir Steve Hansen's side dealt South Africa a similar loss in their first game, but watched from afar as the Springboks lifted the Webb Ellis Cup come the end of the tournament.

Now, they'll have to repeat that feat themselves if New Zealand is to claim an unprecedented fourth title.

And with that example on board, Barrett says the All Blacks won't waste any time in getting ready to face Namibia in Toulouse next weekend.

"You only have to look back to the last World Cup, South Africa won after losing the first game," he continued. 

"We've got to keep believing, and we will. We don't look into statistics like that too much.

"We're obviously down, we'll be down couple a few days. But we'll get back on the horse, and look forward to the next game." 

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