England, as a result, are out of the Rugby World Cup, with Australia now favourites to top Pool A ahead of their game with Wales next weekend. “I’ve just got to get them ready for next week”.
That is why Gatland, despite being a proud New Zealander, will be urging on Australia at Twickenham tonight when victory for the Wallabies will spare Wales a nerve-jangling all-or-nothing clash the following week.
“The last 20 minutes Australia dominated and deserved to win”.
But the fact England – the world’s wealthiest rugby union and with one of the largest playing bases in the global game – have finished second in all four of Lancaster’s Six Nations campaigns has displeased his paymasters.
English customers bought tens of thousands of tickets to the knockout stage on viagogo, the world’s largest ticket marketplace, and many of those customers are likely to relist their tickets if England loses.
“As I said during the week, the responsibility and the accountability lies with me”.
The 8pm kick-off will give Lancaster time to ruminate before the biggest match of his career and the head coach knows it will be a day of high anxiety.
Cheika was lauded for improving the Wallabies’ scrummaging together with his scrum coach, the Argentine Mario Ledesma.
“And that is why Wallabies fans will have their chests puffed out this week… the whole tournament would have sat up and taken notice”.
“I think this week we’re going to have to answer a few tough questions”.
Flyhalf Bernard Foley scored two tries and kicked 18 points for Australia, who led 17-3 at halftime, with centre Matt Giteau adding a late third try after wing Anthony Watson had charged over for England.
Foley claimed his second try in the 35th minute, finishing off a well orchestrated backline move when he put Kurtley Beale though a gap with a superb inside pass and then backed up to claim the five-pointer.
Danny Cipriani also Tweeted: “Gutted for the boys, absolutely gutted – well played Australia…”
Cipriani defended England captain Chris Robshaw’s decision not to kick a last-gasp penalty that could have earned them a draw against Wales. “We just didn’t, get what we needed out of that game today”.
“Games at this level are decided by very small margins, but we don’t want to come off with any regrets at having not had a crack. Myself and the other players, we feel we let a lot of people down today, let the country down”.
Brian Moore says England must play with their heads, and not their hearts, when they take on Australia at Twickenham this evening.
Lancaster did also underline how impressive the Wallabies had been.