Well shit, that all went extremely pear shaped.
England did to us what we did to Ireland last week, only when we get that dominance up front we score a lot more points. They came out firing and put us on the back foot from the get go then never let up. Massive credit there, that was a huge performance. Have they played their final though?
For us, after the initial onslaught we did somewhat get ourselves back into the game, but just pushed too many 50/50 plays and kept coughing it up at crucial times.
Cane was huge for us last week to nullify the Irish pack in the first 40. He's always been someone that thrives in the tight exchanges early on, so benching him was a pretty baffling deicison TBH. SB was OK but Cane provides a point of difference.
I love me some Jordie but he was only meant to be a squaddie. BFA on the bench would have been smart, especially given how early it is in Mo'unga's career. I would have subbed Richie early in the 2nd 40 and put Beauden back to 10. Experience matters in knock out matches and we needed calm heads after going behind early.
I was also surprised we didn't try and play Rieko into some form given how much of a game breaker he is.
But all of that is really just details when the forwards get smacked around like that. The English pack was amazing and Itoje showed just how good he is on the biggest possible stage.
It's been 12 years since we got knocked out of a RWC. I wasn't super confident we could get up a 3rd time, though the Irish game did give me some hope, but at the end of the day England were too good on the night. If you think back to 2015 we struggled to get up for the semi final against an SA team that had just lost to Japan. This time around we hit a far superior side.
So all in all I blame Ireland for losing to Japan and putting us on the wrong side of the bloody draw.