The All Blacks skipper became the first man to be sent off in a final and watched his side lose 12-11

New Zealand captain Sam Cane struggled to describe the hurt he was feeling after receiving a red card in the All Blacks’ agonising 12-11 World Cup final loss to South Africa.

Cane became the first man to be sent off in a Rugby World Cup final when his high tackle on Jesse Kriel in the 28th minute was upgraded to red at the Stade de France.

Read more: South Africa win record fourth Rugby World Cup with incredible third straight one-point win after edging New Zealand in final

Sam Cane reacts to World Cup final defeat

It was New Zealand’s second card in the first half-an-hour after Shannon Frizell’s third-minute yellow and Cane’s opposite man Siya Kolisi was also sent to the sin-bin after the break in a card-crazy final.

After collecting a silver medal, Cane fronted the media in the post-match media conference and when asked to sum up his emotions said: “Just so much hurt right now, it’s hard to find the words to explain it.

“It’s hard because you’re feeling so much hurt but you’re so proud of the group and how they fought back and gave ourselves a good shot of winning that game. I think it speaks volumes of the group as a whole.

“They’re a fantastic group of men who care so much about playing for the All Blacks and making New Zealand proud. There’s a lot of heartbreak in the sheds right now. It’s hard.”

(Sam Cane reacts to red card incident which you can watch below)

Cane’s yellow was upgraded due to a high degree of danger in the collision with no mitigation being found by the officiating team and when asked about the incident himself, he added: “There at the time I wasn’t even aware. It caught me off guard that he stepped back.

“We’ve been at this tournament for two months now and anything around the head has ramifications. I’m not here to discuss right or wrong. It can’t be changed and unfortunately it’s something I’m going to have to live with forever.”

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