As fans come to grips with the All Blacks being beaten by England and losing their chance to claim a third straight World Cup title, it's the players who are struggling the most.
The looks of bitter disappointment were etched into each of the All Blacks' faces following the 19-7 defeat in the semi-final in Yokohama, with many battling to hold back tears.
Winning the World Cup was something they'd invested huge amounts of time, energy and effort into and they're all feeling the pain of falling short.
Many of them believe they've let their supporters and country down. It pays to remember it's just a game and that the team is hurting more than anyone.
If you feel the need to take to social media to castigate or vilify the players, don't. They're human and deserve support, not condemnation.
I've never seen that many grown men so upset apart from at funerals. My heart breaks for them far more than it does for a lost game.
A night of pain
I caught up with several All Blacks after the match and they were gracious in defeat and tried their best to express their pain.
Codie Taylor was the first to emerge and was full of credit for England, but there's no doubt he was doing it hard.
"It's pretty tough, there's a lot of slow jams going on at the moment in the dressing room, it's pretty bleak. It really hurts for the people that probably won't pull the jersey on again post the bronze game. Just gutted we couldn't get the job done for our fans and for them.
"It's tough being away from your family at times like these and I'm grateful I have my parents and my wife here. I'll get around them and the boys (teammates), they're our family as well and we've put in a lot of effort to get the job done and fell short."
Bridge also thankful for family support
Wing George Bridge hasn't tasted this kind of defeat as an All Black. The rawness of his emotion was plain to see and he struggled to hold it all in.
"It's not the best feeling to be honest," he said, before taking a moment to compose himself. "Yeah, it's pretty gutting. We have to give credit to England, they beat us in all facets and that's what hurts the most is that we were so dominated."
Bridge's parents, Chick and Crispin, are here and he's thankful for that.
"Yeah, looking forward to catching up with them and my partner arrived last night so it will be nice to see some familiar faces. At the same time all the brothers that wear the jersey with me, we've got to all get around each other because everyone's hurting."
Halfback Aaron Smith was equally distraught, and did what any one would, seeking comfort in his fiancé Teagan and baby boy Luka.
"I just quickly video called Teagan and she was sitting there with Luka. It was good but yeah it's just, oh man...
"It's been a big year and a few years prep for this tournament and I don't know what to say mate, you just feel like you've let everyone down. I'm really gutted for New Zealand and gutted for the boys and gutted for the guys who are leaving. It's just really disappointing. Full credit to England, I hope they go well."
Hooker Dane Coles always tells it like it is and his honesty is something those of us in the media have long admired.
You'd have to have the stoniest of hearts for his emotion not to affect you.
"We're pretty gutted, mate. Yeah... sorry...Just sorry New Zealand, hopefully we've done you proud but we've come up short. Thanks for the love and support over the last six to eight weeks, it's been awesome."
Coles was particularly upset for outgoing coach Steve Hansen and the departing players, such as veterans Ryan Crotty, Ben Smith and captain Kieran Read.
"Especially a guy like Reado, Ben Smith and Steve, they're pretty special men and special New Zealanders. A lot of next week (bronze medal match) will be about sending out those men the best way we can because they've given a lot to this All Black jersey."