The immediate inquest into England’s failure to survive the pool stage of their own World Cup threw up a thousand questions about Stuart Lancaster’s future as head coach that were never likely to be answered.
Mike Brown has apologised to England supporters following the host nation’s elimination from the World Cup.
Former England captain Will Carling, who after the Wales defeat accused Lancaster, once a teacher, of treating the players as “schoolboys”, said it was clear a coaching shake-up was required.
Australia won’t be basking in the glory of their record Twickenham triumph over England beyond Sunday’s recovery, with Adam Ashley-Cooper declaring the Wallabies have set their sights on becoming a “great team”.
Foley said the key was backing up the win next week against Wales, in a game that will decide the victor of the pool.
England’s beleaguered coach Stuart Lancaster was more forthcoming about Australia’s prospects, without hesitation, marking them out as potential World Cup winners if they continue to play as they did at Twickenham.
“They are trying to simulate the way the All Blacks play and I don’t think they have the skill level to do that because they simply don’t come from that sort of environment”.
“They (Australia) got better as the game went on”.
The exit comes just 15 days into the tournament, with four weeks still to run.
He said making a good start was crucial and his Wallabies delivered, rolling out to a 17-3 half-time lead. “We just wanted to get into it – you have not only got to keep your opponents out of the game, you have to keep the crowd out of the game”.
“I’m coming up against the master coach next week”, he said.
“I think it’s just building on that [win]”, Ashley-Cooper said when asked where the Wallabies needed to improve ahead of the clash with Wales. “Gutted for all the fans and everybody at home and I don’t know what to say really because everybody’s put so much effort in and the support’s been fantastic but I’m sorry we’re not going any further”.
The home side then crossed for a try in the 57th minute when winger Anthony Watson broke through two tackles to crash over and make it 20-13 with Farrell’s conversion.
Wales boss Warren Gatland told Scrum V he has “a huge amount of respect” for what Lancaster achieved with England “in terms of the discipline he’s instilled in that side and the way those players conduct themselves”.
“It’s not up to me what happens elsewhere, so we’ve still got a lot of work to do”.
And while Australia might have headed into the game as underdogs, a status Cheika admitted to during the week, they will not be viewed as outsiders any longer.
“From my World Cup experience, finishing top of your pool is very important”.
“It is something I have worked hard on”. We got a lot of momentum and we closed out a very good win.
“Selection is subjective and people will have their thoughts on that, but for me as a player I back the guys”.