The All Blacks have found an unlikely ally on Twitter with Wallaby Test great Matt Giteau coming to their defence in the wake of their humbling defeat at the hands of England.
Giteau, who won 103 caps for Australia, and spent most of career trying to find ways to beat New Zealand, championed the men in black following their 19 -7 defeat.
The Wallaby – who even had a Rugby Australia selection protocol named after him – pointed out that it has been the dominance of New Zealand that has pushed professional rugby union on over the last decade.
Giteau, tweeted: "Hasn't been touched on but the reason teams around the world continue to grow and develop is because the All Blacks have set a standard for so long that has driven the other nations to try and chase down.
"12 years of dominance is super impressive. One loss doesn't change that."
His tweet wasn't met with universal praise, with a few 'salty' England fans getting into a back and forth with the ten.
"Again for those salty England supporters. I acknowledged after the game how amazing England were. Taking nothing away from their ultra dominant performance.
"It was one of the most impressive performances I've seen. However I felt the need to applaud NZ's dominance from past".
Giteau also weighed in on the notorious third place playoff, a fixture many feel is a waste of time for all involved.
"Do players want to play off for the 3rd place medal? Personally once I'm knocked out of the tournament I'd want to just go home and get away from it all."
All Blacks captain Kieran Read was quizzed on playing in the fixture that no side ever wants to find themselves playing: "It will be a little different for us but we'll prepare as best we can and go out and perform as best we can. We're All Blacks. So it's a chance for us to pull on a jersey again and, for maybe some of us, it might be our last chance.
"So there's a few things we'll work through this week and come Friday we'll be ready to go."
"We're a team that is talented, hard-working. We're so well connected that you take a loss like this and you see how much it hurts us. We'll bounce back as well as we can but the thing is that we'll stay tight.
"The younger guys, I'm sure they'll have opportunities to come back in four years time, they'll be able to hold on to this feeling, this emotion, and think, 'I don't want to be here again'."
This article first appeared on RugbyPass.com and is republished with permission