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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 November, 2003, 08:20 GMT
Spencer blames lack of hunger
New Zealand fly-half Carlos Spencer
Spencer gave his full backing to coach John Mitchell
New Zealand fly-half Carlos Spencer said his side were knocked out of the World Cup because they were not hungry enough.

The All Blacks had been tipped to cruise past the Wallabies in Saturday's semi-final but were well off their game as they lost 22-10.

And Spencer said: "They just wanted it more than us on the night.

"They played the game we wanted to play, everything we did didn't work and discipline cost us."

New Zealand had been expected to win the battle of the back three through the trio of Doug Howlett, Joe Rokocoko and Mils Muliaina.

But they rarely got a chance to shine against former league stars Wendell Sailor, Lote Tuqiri and Mat Rogers.

And Spencer added: "The amount of penalties we gave away - both teams scored one try each but the penalties cost us.

"When you put on a black jersey, you don't want any side wanting it more than you do.

"That was the pretty disappointing thing about Saturday night."

Despite missing out on a place in the final, Spencer said he hoped coach John Mitchell and his assistant Robbie Deans would stay on in their role.

"It wasn't their fault," he said. "They couldn't do anything once we went out on the paddock."

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