Foley stars as Wallabies send hosts crashing out
RUGBY: A 28-point haul from Wallabies fly-half Bernard Foley saw England beaten 33-13 at Twickenham, in the process becoming the first nation to host a World Cup and fail to make it out of their group to the quarter-finals.
The exit comes just 15 days into the tournament, with four weeks still to run.
It was close for a 20-minute period during the second half, but otherwise Australia dominated the match and will now take on Wales in the final Pool A game this weekend, with top spot in the group on the line.
A win will be crucial, with the loser potentially having to play South Africa in the quarter-finals and New Zealand in the semis.
Wallabies coach Michael Cheika was thrilled the effort of his players, but said plenty of work still needed to be done.
"It wasn't perfect - there were still a lot of areas I think we can improve on, and it is just another step along the way in the pool," he said.
"But it's a very difficult pool so we are very pleased with the result obviously, in particular the commitment of the players. We will be asking for more of that as we go along.
"We really wanted to play well and were really hungry.
"We knew there would be a lot of pain, because we are in England's backyard. The atmosphere was very loud, and that's not an easy thing to deal with. It's like a tsunami and it really can lift them."
Trailing 17-3 at half-time and 20-3 not long after, England fought its way back into the contest with a try to winger Anthony Watson.
The margin was reduced to seven points after fly-half Owen Farrell converted a penalty with 16 minutes on the clock, but when Farrell was penalised and sin-binned just inside the final 10 minutes for tackling Matt Giteau without the ball, the contest was effectively over.
Foley's conversion sounded a death knell, echoed by another penalty and Giteau's 79th-minute try, converted by Foley to the strains of "Waltzing Matilda".
England coach Stuart Lancaster admitted he would consider his future as coach, although it may not be his decision.
"Obviously I think I have to think about it. Its not one for now. We still have another week to go but, as I said during the week, the responsibility and accountability rests with me," he said.
"From my point of view, my priority is to get the team ready for (the last Pool A game against) Uruguay.
"I am not in control of anything else."
- APN SPORTS BUREAU