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Premiership Rugby

Thorne not making excuses after defeat

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

The Crusaders' blindside told New Zealand TV after the game: "We had our chances.

"The line-out was not too bad, and on a windy night the pack did a good job, but we're not using the wind as an excuse.

"We had a lot of ball but England had some great defence."

For Thorne, who led New Zealand to Tri-Nations glory last year, this was his first loss as an All Black skipper on New Zealand soil, having beaten Italy, Ireland (twice), Fiji, Australia and South Africa in 2002.

New Zealand are in action next weekend against Wales, before facing France the week after.

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