Sevu Reece says the All Blacks’ shock 2019 World Cup elimination by England was a painful learning experience.
Prior to their shock 19-7 semi-final defeat by England, the All Blacks had not lost a single World Cup game since 2007, when France beat them in the quarter-finals.
New Zealand were rampant at the 2011 and 2015 World Cups, becoming the first team to clinch the Webb Ellis trophy back to back.
Gunning for a three-peat at last year’s showpiece, Steve Hansen’s All Blacks appeared well on their way to a third straight World Cup when they were absolutely outclassed by Eddie Jones’ England.
Reece, who started on the right wing for New Zealand on that fateful day, says he felt compelled to watch replays of the match in order to improve himself as a player.
‘Yeah, I have actually watched the game several times,’ he said. ‘You shake your head, there are still a lot of “what ifs, what if”.’
‘But, you know, it is gone now. They [England] studied us really well, I would say. They shut down everything we had to offer. You do learn from that 100%. I take that as a great learning experience …
‘It was painful losing to England, but I would say I am way more smarter now. If we come up against a team with that sort of pressure, that linespeed, that loves shutting us down, you know, we now have solutions to deal with that.’
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