The Baby Blacks have summarised this morning's shock under 20s World Cup semi-final loss to France with two words - "gutted" and "disappointed".
The New Zealand U20s won't have a chance to defend last year's title after losing to France 16-7 in Perpignan this morning, thanks to a dominant performance from the French forward pack.
The Kiwi attacking flair struggled to get into the game until the 70th minute when Harry Plummer crossed the line, but mistakes continuously cost them in their attempts to meet England in the final.
Captain Tom Christie was proud of his team's determination to the final whistle but couldn't deny his emotions after the game.
"I'm immensely gutted at the result but I'm very far from disappointed with my lads. My lads played with a lot of heart and a lot of pride," he said.
"I think we were unlucky sometimes and, yes, some of our mistakes were sometimes from our (unforced) errors, but I can't fault my boys ... they played with immense pride out there.
"Rugby is a game you never want to lose. But it has got that competitive edge so there is always going to be a winner and a loser and sometimes you end up on the wrong side."
Head coach Craig Philpott said he was sure there wouldn't be any less motivation for the side in their bronze playoff with South Africa.
"I'm sure there won't be any lack of desire to want to finish the tournament really well."
The Baby Blacks play South Africa at 2:30am NZT on Monday in Beziers with the final taking place immediately afterwards.