Silver Ferns coach Janine Southby "didn't think it could get any worse," but then it did.
For the first time in Commonwealth Games history the Ferns have walked away empty handed after a disappointing 60-55 bronze medal match loss to the Jamaican Sunshine Girls.
Southby expressed her disappointment following the crucial medal match loss, and said going home empty handed was a reality she never planned to face.
"You keep thinking it doesn't get worse, but apparently it does … none of us planned to be in this place and it hurts," Southby told Radio Sport.
"It's not an easy place to be in and it's tough, we are hurting big time and we've got to learn from this and come back a whole lot better. The other nations have all stepped up and we need to too."
"It's not good enough, real disappointment."
Silver Ferns captain Katrina Grant expressed both physical and emotional exhaustion post-match, and said the result was a tough pill to swallow.
"We don't play this game to lose ...we've come here to win a gold medal, to not win a medal, it's really really hard," Grant said.
"We are really disappointed in ourselves and I know the country will be really disappointed in us and aren't happy with us, and so we just ask them to try and stick with us while we fix this."
"We were inconsistent, when we got ball we didn't score with it … We had Jamaica under the pump I thought and I thought we could really push through and get it, but we just didn't put our foot down."
"I just need to go home and relax because it's been a very physically and emotionally draining couple of weeks."
Many Kiwis found the Silver Ferns' performance as "the biggest let down" of the Commonwealth Games, however, it wasn't unexpected.
Grant said she believed the Ferns had been given the wrong "direction" in their Commonwealth Games campaign, and that major changes needed to be made.
"We haven't had the right direction in the last couple of months ... We all need to take responsibility for this and we have to figure out where it's gone wrong," Grant said.
"I'm obviously not happy with the way the campaign has been run, we just came fourth, so can't be happy with that."
"Changes have to happen for us to move forward, if they don't change nothing is going to happen. If it's broken you have to fix it."
Under Southby's guidance the Silver Ferns have produced arguably their worst results to date.
New Zealand opened 2018 unable to defend both their Northern Netball Quad Series and Taini Jamison Series titles, with discouraging losses to England, Australia, and Jamaica.
The Ferns have only managed to maintain a 51 percent win rate under Southby's leadership, with 19 loses from 38 matches.
However, when Southby was asked if the disappointing result would bring about her resignation, she said she wasn't ready to make any decisions.
"There will be a full debrief process, so I guess the outcome of that will be at the end of the debrief," Southby said.
"You've got to go home first to reflect, lots of things have happened and you can never make decisions in the heat of the battle."
"At this stage I'm not making any calls."
Meanwhile, the England Roses won gold over Australia in a dramatic and intense 52-51 Commonwealth Games final.