In 80 minutes, the All Blacks hopes of an unprecedented three-peat of World Cup titles came to an end.
Despite the bitter loss for the squad who has spent the last seven weeks preparing for the final, the All Blacks graciously bowed out of the tournament.
Moments after the final whistle blew the team, mostly in tears, gathered and, in a line, bowed to the crowd at every end of the field.
The pain of the loss is being felt heavily by Kieran Read, who played the losing match on his birthday.
“New Zealand like us will be disappointed…but we gave it our all, we’re all hurting,” Read told media following the match.
Both Read and coach Steve Hansen praised the team for their efforts in the semi-final battle but say the better team won on the night.
Bestowing praise on the English side for their performance, Hansen said his team is disappointed and “desperately hurting” but that they would move on.
“We have to pick ourselves up to play the next losing team.”
The All Blacks focus will now be on next Friday when they compete against either Wales or South Africa for the third position in the bronze match in Tokyo.