"They always put us under pressure and although they didn't play much rugby in the first half in the second half they played some outstanding stuff.
"But we tried to play rugby right until the end and kept putting the tackles. We never gave up, and I was really proud of the efforts."
Coach Budge Pountney said the early loss of former All Blacks backrow star Andrew Blowers early on was a hammer blow.
"Obviously with Andrew having such vast Test experience it was a major blow when he had to go off in the first quarter."