England has crashed out of their RWC, and heads will no doubt be about to roll. Chris Robshaw and Stuart Lancaster may not survive this one.
Australia humiliated the tournament hosts, thrashing England 33-13 in London on Saturday night in front of an expectant crowd, including members of the royal family.
England will now reflect on where it all went wrong in a short-lived tournament stint that never got off the ground, but they need not look any further than themselves after being blown off the park in a surprisingly poor performance.
English coach Stuart Lancaster apologised to the public in the post match press conference, but his words will do little to help heal the wounds to the heart of his players that will have to live with the reality of the next few weeks.
England will not get their hands on the RWC this time round, and it is a terrific shame for the tournament.
TV commentators said prior to the game that if England lost; fans would leave Twickenham and tear up their expensive tickets in disgust. One can’t help if at least a handful of the 82,000 strong crowd made largely of English fans did just that following the fulltime siren.
Crashing out of the tournament is one thing, but for England to do so on their home soil is humiliating. Not only is it the darkest day in the history of English rugby, Stuart Lancaster and his men now become the first host national to be eliminated from a RWC before the quarterfinals.
Given the amount of talent in this English side; this reality is staggering.
England were expected to do well at this World Cup, perhaps even go all the way, but on the night of Saturday October 3rd it was Australia who solidified their place as new tournament favourites.
Australia put on the most dominant performance seen at the RWC yet, their superiority at the breakdown kept England’s usually formidable forward pack contained and unable to contain the ball, but it was Bernard Foley’s impressive ability to step past the English defense that set Australia well ahead going into halftime.
Ultimately, England never recovered and the nail was put into the coffin when Owen Farrell was sent to the sin bin with ten minutes left on the clock.
In fact, Farrell’s opportunities were limited on goal in this match.
Sam Burgess’s big arrival on the rugby union stage came to an abrupt end; the midfielder had no impact off the bench in a theme that was familiar to both sides in the match. Australia’s bench threatened to undo all the good work, but England was simply left with not enough time left and too great a deficit.