The loss to Australia and last week’s agonising 28-25 “Pool of Death” loss to Wales meant England’s tournament fate has been decided.
The Independent on Sunday’s front page had a photo of Robshaw striding off the pitch hands on hips, with his shattered troops spread around the field, and the headline “England Regrets”. They are the first hosts to be eliminated at the group stage since the inception of the tournament in 1987.
Lancaster admitted he will consider his future after watching four years of hard work go up in smoke, but Woodward wants the recriminations to wait until after the tournament is over. “I need to get the team ready to play Uruguay on Saturday and that’s my priority”.
“The accountability and responsibility lies with me”, Lancaster said. Everyone put so much effort in. “If you prepare the best way you can, the outcomes will come from that”.
Robshaw accepted he would be under pressure as well.
Gatland said: “Australia have done us a massive favour, but I felt with 15-20 minutes to go, it was like sitting in the (coaches’) box myself because you are going through the emotions of what the coaches are doing”. We apologise to them. Family is a big thing, also what’s right for England and what’s right for the team.
“We always planned to make the quarter-finals”, Gatland said.
“It’s definitely up there and we can take a lot of confidence out of that for next week” against Wales.
“I think the next level was for him to dictate like that in a Welsh shirt, and I think he has done that”.
England led 16-9 at half-time and then stretched the advantage to 10 points in the second half, but a late try from Gareth Davies and a Dan Biggar penalty six minutes from time sealed a stunning Welsh victory.
Australia were too fast and mobile for England at the breakdown and their backs pierced gaps in the defence with smart offloads at pace while the home forwards failed to dominate the Wallabies in the scrum.
“It is just about ourselves at the moment and trying to improve on that”, said Cheika.
“Well done to Australia on the win today, but from my point of view I’m absolutely gutted to be going out of the World Cup and more so our own World Cup obviously”.
“We’ve got to fight for what we have here, which is important to us”.
The Springboks were shamed by Japan 34-32 in their first game but have won twice since and now appear favourites to top the table and get an easier quarter final opponent.
South Africa will take on the United States on 7 October at the Olympic Stadium in their final pool game. It’s unbelievably disappointing to leave a home World Cup.
There were question marks about Australia’s combinations given the starting XV had only played together twice in two months but attack coach Stephen Larkham’s fingerprints were all over a few brilliance with the ball as the Wallabies opened up English wounds.
“We’re at our best if we’ve been written off”, Meyer said after the performance in which Handre Pollard kicked 19 points and Schalk Burger, JP Pietersen and Bryan Habana scored tries.