Lancaster has a contract until 2020, but when he was asked whether he would now be considering his position he replied: “Yeah, obviously I think I’ve got to”.
“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”, he said. “Everyone is a threat and we have got to be ready for Wales now”.
“To get a good performance is great and really pleasing for them to get a few hard work to pay off there. The responsibility and accountability lies with me, so clearly”.
The draw for the tournament took place three years ago, when Gatland’s side briefly fell out of the top eight of the world rankings to end up in a pool with both England and Australia.
“We don’t have the burden of needing to win the game to qualify”, said Gatland.
England will now face Uruguay at Old Trafford next Saturday, in what will prove an nearly completely futile exercise.
Lancaster was quick to reject allegations there are divisions within his coaching staff, particularly over the apparent inability to choose decisively between Owen Farrell and George Ford at fly-half, as well as the use of recent rugby league convert Sam Burgess.
Lancaster dropped George Ford, England’s starting flyhalf for the past year and orchestrator of the team’s emboldened attacking game plan, for the crucial matches against Wales and Australia, and named his 18th different flyhalf-centers combination against the Wallabies.
The All Blacks may have to play their World Cup nemesis France in the quarterfinals at the Millennium Stadium where their hopes of glory in 2007 were destroyed at the same stage of the tournament by the northern hemisphere giants.
Wales still have their Rugby World Cup destiny firmly in their own hands but there is a nagging fear that despite their heroics so far they could yet be denied a quarter-final berth.
“Yeah I think that’s fair”, said Lancaster when asked if England have lacked killer instinct.
“The score never reflected that”.
“We’re not going to hide behind anything else”.
His side has decelerated into this tournament and his selections fallen flat, his captain Chris Robshaw overwhelmed by the double-teaming David Pocock and Michael Hooper at the breakdown.
“We gave Australia an easy line-out and the sin-binning resulted from that”.
“And we scored four tries against Fiji, 22-12 up against Wales and couldn’t finish the job – so it’s a fair point”.
“We all feel a sense of disappointment at what’s happened and we owe it to ourselves to do it but we must look at it a calm manner”. “We feel we let down our fantastic supporters”.
Australia were overpowered at the scrum in losing their last two Tests at Twickenham.
Cheika also wouldn’t be drawn on where he rated the victory over England in his coaching career.
England coach Stuart Lancaster accepted the consequences before the match if England did not get out of their pool for the first time.
“That’s something I’m not involved with and I don’t wish that type of difficulty on anyone because I’ve been there, I’ve been through tough times”.