All Blacks midfielder Lienert-Brown "absolutely gutted"

Samoan All Black second five, Anton Lienert-Brown, is searching for answers following his side’s crushing 19-7 World Cup semifinal loss to England on Saturday night.

The 24-year-old whose family is from Lepea spoke to Samoa Observer correspondent Satoshi Takehana after the game:

“Absolutely gutted but we have to keep our head held high and get ready for next week. That’s what it’s about at the moment.” 

Rather than a third straight Rugby World Cup final appearance, New Zealand have to settle for a third place playoff against Wales on Friday night.

Lienert-Brown said he couldn’t be sure where his team fell down on the night until they reviewed the game on Monday.

“I haven’t looked at the game properly yet, but England were the better side, credit to England,” he said.

"They are a great team and have been awesome throughout the World Cup. It was difficult, and they had great options and obviously did their analysis.

"I don't think there were any surprises. We probably gave away a few too many penalties, and that fed their game.”

He said the physically of the game was right up there with any he had played:

“Generally, you have to be big human being to be physically strong but the mental thing does count. 

“I think we did turn up physically, but so did they, and full credit to them in doing that. They managed to get on top of us at points."

Despite it being a tough match for the All Blacks, Lienert-Brown said their belief never wavered.

"We fully believe in ourselves from minute one to 80,” he said. 

“We never panicked, and we knew – even in the last five minutes – that two converted tries would have put us ahead. That's what we are about, and we didn't quite get there."

He said hearing the final whistle and knowing they had come up short was the hardest part:

“We'll learn plenty from this, and we will keep our heads up high."

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